Canada is being described as a “vaccine pirate” after the latest announcement of COVID vaccine approvals showed we will be getting our doses from a facility funded to provide vaccines for the developing world.
On Friday, Health Canada announced that they had approved two related but distinct products, the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in collaboration with Oxford University and COVISHIELD, a version of the AstraZeneca recipe manufactured by Serum Institute of India.
The problem is that Canada will be getting its doses, starting as early as Wednesday, from the Serum Institute, an organization funded to produce vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.
Like the announcement that the Trudeau government will take 1.9 million doses from COVAX, this makes it look like Canada is taking vaccines meant for poorer countries.
In a news release last June announcing the deal that would allow the SII to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, the company specifically said it was “to supply 1 billion doses for low-and-middle-income countries” In September, a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation allowed the program to expand by an extra 100 million doses.