According to reports, it has already disposed of almost eight million doses of the Moderna vaccines due to declining demand in the country and across the globe.
Back in June, the National Post reported that the Canadian government had thrown away 1.2 million doses of expired mRNA vaccines from Moderna, along with 13.6 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
As of the end of October, the number of expired Moderna vaccines in Canada has increased to 7.7 million. The federal government has also disposed of 3.1 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and an estimated 7,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. (Related: Canada’s military to discharge unvaccinated soldiers despite withdrawal of vaccine mandates.)
The federal government's data for discarded vaccines does not include vaccines that may have expired and been discarded after being sent to provincial governments.
Canada ordered tens of millions of doses from seven different manufacturers, with costs amounting to over $9 billion. Back in 2021, most Canadians received either Moderna or Pfizer doses, the first two vaccines approved by regulators.
The country has received an estimated 150 million doses combined from Moderna and Pfizer. It has also received another 9.7 million doses from Novavax, but nearly a third of the vaccines have expired and only 117,000 doses have actually been distributed in the country.
Canada initially ordered 20 million doses of AstraZeneca, but it stopped distributing the vaccines in the spring of 2021 following reports from other countries linking the AstraZeneca vaccine to fatal blood clots in some patients.
Anna Maddison, a spokesperson for Health Canada, explained that the government focused on a diverse vaccine supply at the beginning of the pandemic to make sure that they could vaccinate as many Canadians as possible.
She also noted that wastage is unavoidable because doses expire before they're used in Canada or eligible for donation.
Canada’s vaccine uptake has been relatively high with 80 percent of Canadians receiving their first two doses. However, data shows that there's a weaker uptake for subsequent booster shots.
Despite recommendations by public health officials, only 50 percent of Canadians have received a third dose and only 14.3 percent have received a fourth dose.
Canada's surplus doses are supposed to go to COVAX, a project of international vaccine alliance GAVI, which has been distributing vaccines for various diseases since 2000.
The country committed to contributing the equivalent of 200 million doses through the COVAX initiative. Canada's commitment includes surplus vaccines and funds to help developing countries purchase their own COVID-19 vaccine doses.
According to the Canadian government's figures, they are on track to meet that target of 200 million by the end of 2022 since they have already donated the equivalent of 140 million doses, along with 50 million surplus doses from Canada's supply and cash assistance.
Evan O’Connell, a spokesperson for GAVI, shared that the alliance is meeting its targets and getting the doses it needs because of donors, including Canada. COVAX has distributed at least two billion doses worldwide, said O'Connell.
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Watch the video below as Canadian Dr. Patrick Phillips speaks up about COVID-19 vaccines.
This video is from the Vaccine Choice Canada channel on Brighteon.com.