COVID-19: What role does Canada play in inequality in vaccines around the world?

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues to divide countries: on the one hand, those who have the lion’s share and begin to dismantle, and on the other hand, the less fortunate who continue to be exposed to new waves of pollution due to the lack of available doses. Now ranked fourth among the countries with the largest proportion of the population having received at least one dose, Canada was not the most representative of the “hypothetical” vaccine crisis.

Plus de 75% du 1,8 milliard de doses qui ont été injectées dans le monde à ce jour ont été administrées dans seulement dix pays, a déploré le directeur général de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), Tedros Adhanus Ghebrey this week. Among them, Ottawa was criticized, as it was the only country in the Group of Seven to take advantage of the COVAX mechanism to purchase vaccine doses. The initiative aims to ensure equitable access to vaccination against COVID-19 in 200 countries.

“He was looking at Canada a lot when I got doses of COVAX that were supposed to go to the countries of the South first. All western countries should be criticized for not following the rules. [du programme COVAX] By purchasing as many vaccines as possible, ”explains Maïka Sondarjee, professor of international development and globalization at the University of Ottawa.

“We did not steal doses, all countries that contributed to COVAX can take doses. This proves that the government of Canada participated in the collective initiative, but it is still clear that the first doses were going to the countries of the South. This is not illegal, but it” looks bad ” , Follow up.

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However, this far-sighted approach could prove costly to Canada in the long run, according to the international development expert. “The picture that we’re showing has an effect on our negotiations. If we say we’re going to do something and that we’re ultimately not doing, then that will have an effect on how other countries view us in the long term.”

‘No consequence’

Like Canada, many countries have failed to go the COVAX way forward by entering into bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies to reserve their doses on a priority basis, blocking the way for the International Dosage Purchase Initiative.

“The protocol was clear: all countries go through COVAX, buy their doses and at the same time put more money in them so that the doses are distributed in the rest of the world. These rules were agreed, and there was a procedure to follow and in the end, no one followed it because there were no consequences. If you don’t, “I Sundarge.

As a result, the disparities between rich and poor countries are widening. Using public data from our world in data, duty It found that 85% of the vaccine doses were administered in high-middle and high-income countries.

These disparities make it difficult for countries lacking doses to regulate their way out of the crisis, says the professor at the University of Ottawa.

Pollution outbreaks

As Canada, the United States, and many countries in Europe began to disengage, countries such as India, Argentina and Nepal have reported record high cases of COVID-19 in recent years.

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Approximately 20% of the population in Argentina and Brazil respectively received the first dose of the vaccine, while Nepal is lagging behind as only 7% of its population has been partially vaccinated. Just over 10% of India’s population was able to receive the first dose, although the country is now the epicenter of the pandemic worldwide.

Less than 2% of the 1.8 billion doses distributed worldwide were given in Africa, even though the continent accounts for 20% of the world’s population. “With supplies running out, dose sharing is an urgent, decisive and short-term solution to ensuring that Africans most at risk from the novel coronavirus have the protection they desperately need,” Dee said on Thursday.Return Machidisu Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The Regional Director of the World Health Organization insisted that “Africa needs vaccines now,” warning that “any pause in these vaccination campaigns will lead to the loss of lives and hopes.”

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