Canada has vaccinated nearly 40 per cent of its citizens, an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19. But underlying this success is a concerning aspect of the global vaccine rollout: wealthy countries like Canada have taken the lion’s share of vaccines – 87 per cent, leaving medium- and low-income countries with just 0.2 per cent of the vaccine supply.
Not only is this a moral concern, with the pandemic ravaging medium- and low-income countries that may struggle with increased health-care demands, it’s also a health concern as new variants emerge from the hardest-hit areas.
But there is a plan to correct this, and Canada has an opportunity to support it: COVAX, a program designed in early 2020 with the hopes of distributing vaccines globally and equitably.
Today’s guests are Annie Bodmer-Roy, the director of international policy and programs at UNICEF Canada, and Srinivas Murthy, a clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and a consultant with the World Health Organization. They will be speaking about the global inequality in vaccine distribution, and how Canada can support COVAX in its goals.
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