OTTAWA, Canada – Karina Gould, minister of international development, and Anita Anand, minister of public services and procurement, today announced that the government of Canada will donate an additional 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, procured by Canada with an advance purchase agreement, to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX).
“Canadians have shown time and again how generous they can be in times of need. I encourage everyone to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign to help front-line workers and vulnerable communities in developing countries access life-saving vaccines. Let’s do this Canada! It’s your turn to #GiveAVax,” said minister Gould.
The doses will be managed by the newly-funded COVAX dose sharing mechanism that is serving as the platform to share doses via COVAX. This contribution is possible because of the government’s proactive approach to secure a supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses, meeting Canada’s needs.
The ministers also announced that the government of Canada will match, dollar for dollar, donations made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of $10 million.
The matching fund campaign, called “Give A Vax,” will run to September 6, 2021. Canadians who want to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign can do so by going to www.unicef.ca/giveavax or by texting VACCINES to 45678 to donate $10.
A fully funded matching fund campaign would cover the vaccination costs of approximately four million people. Funds will enable UNICEF to cover the per-person cost to transport vaccines to destination countries, keep vaccines viable by protecting the cold chain during the journey, and training health care workers to effectively administer the vaccines and safely dispose of needles and waste.
UNICEF International is a key procurement and delivery partner for COVAX – the vaccine pillar of the access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – and, collectively, these organizations are undertaking the world’s largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in human history. The sharing of additional doses, alongside contributions to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign will support these efforts and ensure that no vaccine dose goes to waste.
Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s global efforts to fight COVID-19 around the world. Since the start of this crisis, the government of Canada has committed more than $2.5 billion to support the global response to COVID-19.
Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is our best chance of ending this pandemic. The government and Canadians can make a difference together by helping to ensure that life-saving COVID-19 vaccines reach people in developing countries, humanitarian and conflict situations.
“Time is ticking. Getting more COVID-19 vaccines into people’s arms now is critical to resuming life-saving programs for children and protecting us all from future variants. UNICEF Canada looks forward to partnering with the government of Canada to ensure that no country is left behind when it comes to access to COVID-19 vaccines. We are urgently calling on Canadians to #GiveAVax and help us with the monumental task of delivering two billion doses of vaccines to people around the globe, including in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach places,” said David Morley, president and chief executive of UNICEF Canada.