ontario news watch

Canada's vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations, and in at least three cases, say doses to be resold.

Public Services and Procurement Canada quietly tabled eight contracts with the House of Commons health committee Friday afternoon as a partial response to its massive request for COVID-19-related documents.

The eight contracts for vaccines from Sanofi, Medicago, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and the COVAX global vaccine sharing alliance are all heavily redacted with no information about the price Canada is paying or the specifics of when the doses would be delivered.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand has repeatedly said the contracts contained confidentiality clauses that prevented her from releasing them, adding she wasn’t going to violate those clauses and risk jeopardizing Canada’s vaccine supply.

The contracts say Canada can donate doses bought from AstraZeneca, Sanofi, J&J, Novavax, and Medicago, and can resell doses from the remaining three suppliers.

Canada’s purchase agreements include a minimum of 251 million doses, more than twice the 76 million it needs to give two doses to every person.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press