Coronavirus: Experts say there may be political risks in donating vaccines before Canadians get vaccinated

Toronto-Experts warn that Canada’s global reputation is threatened because the country receives more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccines every week before June and July, and another 9 million vaccines from Pfizer will be released in August , But will not promise to donate doses to the global vaccine-sharing alliance COVAX.

Although the shared vaccine dose has not been taken into account, Canada has increased its monetary commitment to COVAX from 220 million Canadian dollars to 440 million Canadian dollars. At the end of May, COVAX stated that it needed an additional US$2 billion to help people in low-income countries vaccinate, but it urgently needed COVID-19 vaccine doses from rich countries, which have been able to vaccinate large numbers of their populations.

“[COVID-19] It will last for a while. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know exactly how long it will last, but it will certainly continue to plague countries and harm lives,” infectious disease expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch told in a telephone interview on Friday.

With the emergence of four worrying variants on a global scale, we have seen the damage that unvaccinated people can cause. B.1.617 variants, also known as Delta variants, have been found in many countries and have caused severe damage to people with almost no immunity.

“It now appears that it appears in the African environment. Of course, this is really problematic, because the chances of obtaining vaccines in these environments are very limited, so we will regret to see the negative impact of this virus growing. We are vaccinated. The longer it takes,” he said.

The main concern is those countries that simply cannot vaccinate the majority of their population. According to Our World in Data, the vaccination rate in 24 countries is less than 1% of their population. Globally, only 11.38% of the population is vaccinated, which is a far cry from the 40% to 90% required to establish herd immunity.

Joy Fitzgibbon, an assistant professor at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, said: “When we consider the possibility of getting out of this situation and how we can truly get out of this chaos on a global scale, the only way is Through the global vaccine.” in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Fitzgibbon said that in Canada and the world’s wealthy countries, the focus of vaccination is mainly on their own populations, but there should be more conversations with citizens to discuss global efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“In terms of public discussion, I don’t think we have designed this way,” Fitzgibbon said. “If we can really understand how Canadians can get rid of this situation, it will be very helpful.”

Even if Canada starts to pay attention to life after vaccination, or the summer of two doses of vaccine, the future of traveling abroad is still uncertain, especially with the gradual popularity and variation of global vaccination.

She said: “The Director-General of the World Health Organization is right: the new coronavirus everywhere is the new coronavirus everywhere.”

Even after Canada vaccinates most of its population, the pandemic will not end. According to the definition of the World Health Organization, a pandemic is defined as a disease that spreads on a global scale. Until it spreads across continents, the pandemic will continue.

“The correct approach is to support global vaccine equity. It is also in Canada’s best interest to do so,” Fitzgibbon said.

But politically speaking, persuading countries to donate vaccines is a tough line.Jeremy Kingsman, former Canadian ambassador to Russia and the United Kingdom, said that donating vaccines to other countries while the Canadian population is still unvaccinated may be a risky political move.

Kingsman told in a telephone interview: “This is completely normal. It is also normal for politicians to see this issue. This is a highway for re-election, so they will not take risks in front of Canadian public opinion.”

He said that in the case of possible federal elections, the focus is on domestic issues and securing a majority government.

He added: “We don’t consider the global situation because everyone is running for re-election.” “In Canada, some of us are running for re-election in various provinces and the federal government.”

Federal elections may be held this year, and Ontario elections are scheduled for 2022.

But he said that wealthy countries like Canada should view it as sharing, rather than depriving its population.

He said: “I don’t think the problem is transferred from the needs of the country to others, it is actually just sharing.”

Kingsman said that good leadership is not only about paying close attention to polls, but also about doing the right thing.

“Leadership is actually doing the right thing. The general consensus in the medical community in the world is that what is happening is not right. And it will pay for it,” he said.

Kingsman said that to make matters worse, Canada ran out of COVAX doses, and now it will not provide doses to the project. Canada received 655,000 doses of vaccine from COVAX in May.

“We are the only developed country that really takes out the vaccine from COVAX,” he said.

The UK also uses COVAX to obtain vaccines. Similar to Canada, they have donated to COVAX, but have not yet pledged to donate a dose. Canada and the United Kingdom are the only two G7 countries that have not yet pledged to donate vaccines to the project.

The trouble with donating our unused AstraZeneca vaccine is that other countries may not be kind to obtaining vaccines that Canada publicly considers inferior to mRNA vaccines.

“If we say now,’Oh, well, we won’t use them, give it to you,’ the recipient country said:’Oh, that’s great, they gave us something they thought was not safe enough for them.’ The consequences It is twofold: one is to increase resentment, and the other is to increase the silence of vaccination,” Kingsman said.

In mid-May, UNICEF called on G7 countries to donate 20% of their vaccine doses in June, July and August. Recently, on June 3, UNICEF and 31 other organizations joined forces to promote Canada to donate 4 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, which was only 10% of the expected dose at that time.

These groups said in a statement: “Canada orders more per capita doses (more than 10 doses) than any other country, so it is a responsibility to share with the world.”

But Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, said that Canada is still working hard to vaccinate all Canadians, so there is no excess vaccine to share with other countries.

As of Friday, 68.52% of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccine, and 7.51% have been fully vaccinated.

“There is a real sense of urgency, and there is a feeling that the developed countries do not get the international reality unless you get [the vaccine] Kinsman said: “It’s everywhere, you really can’t find it anywhere.”

But Fitzgibbon said that sharing vaccines with other countries does not necessarily mean political disaster.

Given the decision to maintain more vaccine doses, Canada’s reputation on the global stage may change.

“People are surprised by Canada,” Kingsman said. “We exude a feeling of compassion. Our view is that our compassion has not yet been transformed into action…not yet.”

Now is Canada’s chance to prove its reputation. Fitzgibbon said she hopes to see Canada lead other wealthy countries in vaccine sharing.

“We should be a compassionate country, getting along with others on campus, embedded in this multilateral vision that spans modern history and a commitment to stand with the most vulnerable people in the world,” she said. “We have had moments like this. I think this is a very beautiful way. This needs to be one of them.”

“Canada does have a certain degree of moral authority; we have played these roles before.”

Bogoch said that Canada can share our supply and continue to vaccinate the population, which is not necessarily one of them.

“This is indeed an ethical thing, but we can also do it while vaccinating the general population.”

Documents from Canadian media.

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