Speaking at a press conference at the end of the G7 leader’s summit in England on Sunday, Trudeau said Canada will provide funding to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, to help 87 million doses be provided to developing countries.
Trudeau said “in addition,” the country is donating 13 million doses procured by Canada to other countries through the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX.
Of those shots, 1.3 million doses will be Johnson&Johnson vaccines, while another 4.1 will be the vaccines manufactured by Oxford-AstraZeneca. All will be bought via COVAX.
The remaining 7.3 million doses will be Novavax shots.
According to the prime minster, the G7 leaders’ collective commitments “will result in over 2 billion doses being shared with the rest of the world.”
To date, Trudeau said Canada has spent $2.5 billion to “help address this crisis globally.”
Trudeau said Canada will “also have more to say in the coming weeks, as our vaccine procurement process identifies even more doses that can be shared with the world.”
“We are one of only four countries that has already paid our fair share to the ACT-Accelerator, which supports global access to vaccines, tests, and treatments,” he said.
Trudeau said in order to “truly beat COVID-19 anywhere, we have to beat it everywhere.”
“That is something we have understood right from the start of the pandemic.”
The announcement comes just days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. would share 100 million COVID-19 vaccines.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would be donating 500 million shots.
“We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners,” Biden said ahead of the summit.
France, Japan, Germany and Italy have also promised to share millions of doses to COVAX, an international vaccine sharing initiative.
Trudeau said the global commitment on vaccines is “in addition to, and in parallel with our vaccine rollout at home.”
“We have millions of doses being delivered into the country each week, and every day more and more people get their first and second shots.”
According to vaccine tracker Canada, by Sunday morning, 28,644,442 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada.
That means 63.96 per cent of the Canadian population has received at least one dose, while 11.40 per cent are fully vaccinated against the virus.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the head of the World Health Organization welcomed the vaccine-sharing announcements from the G7, but said “we need more, and we need them faster.”
“The challenge, I said to the G-7 leaders, was that to truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the world’s population by the time the G-7 meets again in Germany next year,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
Tedros said in order to do this, 11 billion doses of the vaccines are needed.
He added that it is “essential” for countries to waive intellectual property protections for the vaccines, a move the U.S. has announced its support for.
Asked by reports if he supports the waiving of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccine patents, Trudeau said his government is “looking at every possible way” to ensure that everyone “gets vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
The prime minister was also asked about vaccine passports.
Trudeau reiterated that “now is not the time to travel, except for essential purposes.”
“However, we know full well that once people get fully vaccinated, once a restrictions are starting to ease in our country, we will have people wanting to travel around the world,” he said. “And that is certainly something we’re looking at to ensure that whatever documentations (and) whatever processes Canada puts in place, they’re able to align with our friends, allies and indeed partners around the world, and we will continue to work together on that.”
Trudeau added that the “best approach” to vaccine passports is one that “respects people’s privacy,” is “reliable and easy” and treats everyone fairly.
-With files from Global News’ Abigail Bimman, The Canadian Press and The Associated PressView link »