Canada to donate 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries, fund even more – About Your Online Magazine


Trudeau also announced more than $2 billion in new Canadian aid over five years to nations battling the effects of climate change

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged 13 million spare vaccines to help the world immunize against COVID-19 as he and other G7 leaders concluded a two-day summit in pandemic, climate change and China-dominated Britain.

Canada previously said it would offer up to 100 million doses of vaccines to help the poorest countries fight the global pandemic, but it was the only G7 country not to say how many of those doses would be real rather than money.

Trudeau said on Sunday that in addition to the 13 million shots in excess, Canada will pay for the purchase and distribution of 87 million doses through ACT-Accelerator, a global program to ensure the world has access to COVID-19 tests. , treatments and vaccines.

The prime minister told reporters during a closing press conference that some of the promised jabs are already on their way to countries that are lagging behind in rich nations in the world’s immunization effort. But he stopped saying when the rest would arrive.

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“Several of these doses are on the way right now, more to come in the coming months,” Trudeau said. “We will be able to share across the world as we see Canadians being vaccinated at ever-increasing levels, and we just don’t need those doses.”

Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Office provided an analysis showing that more than 7 million of the donated doses are from the pharmaceutical company Novovax, whose vaccine has not yet been approved for use in Canada.

The rest are Oxford-AstraZeneca doses and injections from Johnson & Johnson that Canada purchased through COVAX, an international vaccine sharing initiative.

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Canada has been criticized for being the only G7 country to take and use COVAX photos.

US President Joe Biden closed the weekend’s summit by announcing a commitment to share 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccine with the world. In all, G7 leaders confirmed their intention to donate more than 1 billion doses to low-income countries next year. But the commitment falls far short of the 11 billion doses the World Health Organization said are needed to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the world’s population and really end the pandemic.

Trudeau emphasized that the donation would not affect Canada’s own vaccination efforts, which have increased in recent months with the delivery of injections from Pfizer-BioNTech and, to a lesser extent, from Moderna.

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“This global commitment to vaccines is in addition to and parallels our home vaccine delivery,” said Trudeau. “We have millions of doses being delivered to the country each week, and every day more and more people get their first and second injections.”

Climate change, China featured in G7 negotiations

Excess doses of COVID-19 were not the only help Trudeau promised the poorest countries, as he also announced more than $2 billion in new Canadian aid over five years to nations struggling with the effects of climate change.

However, while COVID-19 and climate change figured prominently in discussions by G7 leaders and Canada’s post-summit pledges, the thorny issue of how to deal with increased competition and aggression from China was also a priority. during the weekend.

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G7 leaders presented an infrastructure plan called “Building Better for the World,” calling for hundreds of billions of dollars to be spent on the private sector while adhering to climate standards and labor practices.

It was designed to compete with China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, which has launched a network of projects in large parts of the world, mainly in Asia and Africa. Critics say China’s projects often create massive debt and expose nations to Beijing’s undue influence.

Trudeau did not explicitly mention the new initiative or China’s treatment of ethnic minorities such as Uighur Muslims, topics covered during the summit, but he thanked other G7 leaders for supporting Canada’s calls for the immediate release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor .

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“What happened to the two Michaels shouldn’t have happened and, in fact, could happen in any country in the world,” he said. “China’s use of arbitrary detention and coercive diplomacy is a concern for all of us.”

Beijing detained the two Canadians days after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport on a request for extradition from the United States.

China’s use of arbitrary detention and coercive diplomacy is a concern for all of us

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Biden, attending his first G7 summit as president, fought for the leaders’ joint statement to include specific language criticizing China’s use of forced labor and other human rights abuses as he worked to cast rivalry with Beijing as the ultimate competition for the 21st century.

Canada, the UK and France broadly endorsed the Biden government’s position, while Germany, Italy and Europe showed hesitation, according to a government official who observed some of the negotiations and told reporters on condition of anonymity.

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White House officials say Biden, whose presence at the summit was widely welcomed by other leaders and seen as a sign of renewal for the group after Donald Trump’s presidency, wants the G7 countries to speak with one voice about the abuses of the human rights in China.

When asked whether he would describe China as an adversary, Trudeau emphasized the need to work with the country on global challenges such as climate change, while recognizing it as a competitor in trade and a source of concern when it comes to human rights.

The leaders of the world’s richest countries have also agreed to endorse a global minimum tax of at least 15 percent on multinational companies. The decision was widely anticipated after finance ministers earlier this month adopted a plan to prevent companies from using tax-avoidance havens and thereby depriving some countries of much-needed revenue.

Additional reporting from the Associated Press.

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Paula Fonseca