OTTAWA — Canada is donating all 10 million doses of the single-dose vaccine it purchased from Johnson & Johnson but won’t use to low and middle-income countries.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced the donation through the COVAX vaccine-sharing alliance Thursday as many nations continue to struggle with a shortage of shots.
Health Canada authorized the J&J vaccine in early March, but is has never been used here.
The federal government announcing it is donating 10-million vaccine doses of the Johnson and Johnson shot to the COVAX program. The vaccines will go to low and middle income countries #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) August 12, 2021
The only shipment for 330,000 doses delivered in late April was held in quarantine for months because of concerns of possible tainting at a production facility in Baltimore.
Health Canada ultimately determined the doses couldn’t be verified and returned them to the company.
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Now, with a surplus of vaccines from other manufacturers, Anand says Canada will redirect its J&J shots to countries in need.
The federal government announced last month it would donate nearly 18 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, which has also been phased out of Canada’s vaccination efforts, to lower income countries.