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Canada donating 10M J&J COVID vaccines to countries in need

Last Updated Aug 12, 2021 at 12:56 pm EDT

FILE - This Saturday, March 6, 2021 file photo shows vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital for distribution in east Denver. The European Medicines Agency is meeting Thursday March 11, 2021, to discuss whether Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine should be authorized, a move that would give the European Union a fourth licensed vaccine to try to curb the pandemic amid a stalled inoculation drive. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Summary

Canada donating all 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson it received but won't use


Vaccines going to low and middle-income countries in desperate need of more doses


Nearly 18 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine already donated


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 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.