Trudeau to add more doses to Canada’s vaccine donations at G20


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce added donations of vaccines today for developing countries at the G20 meeting in Rome.

COVID-19 and climate change will dominate most discussions, with the economic recovery and health first on the agenda.

Canada has already promised to donate 40 million excess doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines, the latter of which is still in development.


Trudeau is arriving at the G20 pushing wealthy countries to donate more but Canada has to date distributed 3.4 million of its promised doses, all of them AstraZeneca.

Globally, 1.3 billion doses were promised to COVAX from wealthy countries but only 150 million have been delivered.

Today’s announcement is expected to affect several million doses of Moderna vaccine that Canada purchased but hasn’t yet received.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus asked the G20 leaders on Friday to immediately donate another 550 million doses so that 40 per cent of the world population can be vaccinated by year’s end.

“Promises aren’t translating into vaccines reaching the people that need them,” he said in an open letter that was also signed by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.


“We can’t simply hope for the pandemic to end on its own,” they said, reminding people that as the virus continues to spread, the risk of new, riskier variants rises.

The International Monetary Fund said Friday that the world’s economic recovery depends on speeding up vaccinations. On average the G20 nations have fully vaccinated about 55 per cent of their populations. Canada has fully vaccinated 74 per cent of its entire population.

Globally, 38 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. In Africa, it’s not even six per cent.

The supply chain crisis wreaking havoc in much of the world will also be high on the agenda, particularly for U.S. President Joe Biden, who is attending his first G20 as president.

There is also a desire to see G20 leaders agree to stronger language to fight climate change ahead of the COP26 climate talks that start in Scotland Monday.


A strong statement from the leaders of the world’s biggest economies — which are collectively responsible for 80 per cent of economic output and 80 per cent of global emissions — would send a clear message as the rest of the world joins them in Glasgow next week.

Talks leading up to the G20 included negotiations to cut back on new coal-fired power plants faster both at home and abroad, and to ramp up financial assistance to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate against climate change.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose agreement to the coal language is critical because China is a massive player in the global coal industry, is not travelling to Rome for the G20.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2021.


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