Loading articles...

Canada mulls global vaccine contribution as Trump turns back on alliance

Last Updated Sep 2, 2020 at 1:38 pm EDT

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

OTTAWA — Canada is still considering a contribution to the international vaccine coalition known as COVAX, which aims to equitably distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries that can’t afford one.

The decision stands in contrast to Tuesday’s decision by the Trump administration in the United States to opt out of the alliance of more than 150 countries because the program is linked to the World Health Organization.

President Donald Trump ended U.S. funding to the WHO in July because he says it is being unduly influenced by China and needs to be reformed.

A spokesman for Karina Gould, Canada’s International Development Minister, says the Trudeau government is working on the details of a spending commitment to what’s called the “COVAX Facility,” which is designed to ensure developing countries have fair access to a COVID-19 cure.

COVAX also allows investing countries to be given early access for up to 20 per cent of their populations.

The initiative is aimed at circumventing so-called vaccine nationalism — the scramble by individual countries to secure vaccines for their own populations, often by pre-buying doses directly from pharmaceutical companies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press