Canada will donate 10 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX vaccine-sharing alliance and another $15 million to help make mRNA vaccines in Africa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday.
The Moderna donation is part of 73 million doses Canada said it was pledging to the developing world.
Trudeau revealed details of the donations in Rome while attending the G20 leaders’ summit. Canada would also increase its financial contribution to the global vaccine sharing alliance, he said, with a goal of donating or paying for at least 200 million vaccine doses for low and middle income countries by the end of next year.
Canada has previously promised to donate 40 million doses from its own contracts, and pay for an estimated 87 million more through more than $500 million in cash donations to COVAX.
To date, 3.4 million doses have been delivered from Canada’s contracts. The funding has been delivered, but it’s not clear how many doses have been purchased with Canada’s money.
Securing supplies of vaccine has been tricky because wealthy countries snapped up most of the early supplies.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is one of only six countries that have donated their fair share to what is known as the ACT accelerator, an international program helping fund COVID-19 testing and treatments for countries struggling to afford them.
What’s happening in Canada
WATCH | NACI expands recommendations for booster shots:
Home Care Ontario says nurses, personal support workers and therapists have left the home care industry in droves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization that represents an estimated 28,000 home care service providers says it has lost 3,000 workers since last year.
CEO Sue VanderBent says the workers have left largely due to higher pay in hospitals and long-term care homes.
She says the organization can only fulfil 60 per cent of home care requests, down from 95 per cent pre-pandemic.
VanderBent says the industry needs help from the province, which so far has given billions to hospitals and nursing homes without providing similar funding for home care.
The province says it is working toward a modernization strategy to better serve patients.
What’s happening around the world
As of midday Sunday morning, more than 246.4 million COVID-19 cases had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s online coronavirus database. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
In Asia, Shanghai Disneyland said on Sunday that it has temporarily suspended entry to co-operate with COVID-19 investigations linked to other Chinese provinces and cities.
Guests currently in the park are required to undergo COVID-19 tests at the exit when they leave, Shanghai Disneyland said on its Chinese social media account.
Entry to the nearby Disneytown has also been halted, Shanghai Disneyland said.
In Europe, Russia on Sunday reported 40,993 new COVID-19 infections, its highest single-day case tally since the start of the pandemic. The country’s coronavirus task force also reported 1,158 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours.
That brought Russia’s official COVID-19 death count to 238,538, by far the largest in Europe. More than 8.51 million infections have been recorded in the country of 146 million during the pandemic.
In the Americas, hundreds of people opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates rallied Saturday at the Kansas Statehouse and pushed state lawmakers to quickly counter them.
The Biden administration is requiring vaccinations for all federal workers and certain health-care workers. Private employers with 100 or more workers will have to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly.