Canada to throw out 13.6m AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses amid lack of demand | Canada

Canada is to throw out about 13.6m doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a result of it couldn’t discover any takers for it both at dwelling or overseas.

Canada signed a contract with AstraZeneca in 2020 to get 20m doses of its vaccine, and a couple of.3 million Canadians acquired not less than one dose of it, largely between March and June 2021.

Following issues within the first half of 2021 about uncommon however probably deadly blood clots brought on by the AstraZeneca vaccine, Canada centered on utilizing its ample provides of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

It comes as many European international locations expertise a major surge in new Covid infections, and consultants warn that with nearly all restrictions lifted and booster take-up usually low, instances might soar all through the summer season.

New instances are on the rise in Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands and Denmark as a result of extra infectious new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Covid an infection ranges within the UK have risen by greater than 30% in every week.

“The pandemic is accelerating once more,” Dr Benjamin Davido, an infectious ailments specialist on the Raymond-Poincaré hospital exterior Paris, mentioned. “It’s vital that we keep secure immunity by booster pictures.”

In July 2021, Canada promised to donate the remainder of its procured provide, about 17.7m doses. However on Tuesday, Well being Canada mentioned that regardless of efforts to satisfy that pledge, 13.6m doses have expired and must be thrown out.

“Resulting from restricted demand for the vaccine and recipient nation challenges with distribution and absorption, they weren’t accepted,” it mentioned.

In all, Canada donated 8.9m doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine – 4.8m doses from its predominant provide and 4.1m doses that it purchased from the Covax vaccine-sharing program.

About 85% of Canadians are thought of absolutely vaccinated, in contrast with 61% of the world’s inhabitants and simply 16% of individuals residing on this planet’s poorest international locations.

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