To many Canadians, it seemed decidedly unneighborly. Canada’s initial coronavirus vaccination program moved at a stately pace over the winter, while inoculations in the United States raced ahead. But Washington was unwilling to share any of its stockpile of tens of millions of doses of a vaccine it had yet to approve for use by Americans.
U.S. to Send Millions of Vaccine Doses to Mexico and Canada]
The White House announcement seemed to catch Ottawa officials off guard. Hours passed before Anita Anand, the cabinet minister responsible for buying vaccines, issued a statement that read more like an insurance policy than a note of thanks.
The U.S. Is Sitting on Tens of Millions of Vaccine Doses the World Needs]
Though Canada and more than 70 other countries have approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, the manufacturer hasn’t even applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. Things have now reached the point, Noah and Rebecca write, that the “United States may only briefly, or never, need the AstraZeneca doses.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine was also the subject of attention this week for another reason. Several European countries suspended its use over a possible connection to blood clots. Canadian officials didn’t share those worries, and late this week the European Medicines Agency declared the vaccine safe.
Aside from a possible new source of supply, the AstraZeneca inoculation received another boost in Canada this week when the federal advisory panel on immunization lifted its previous recommendation that it not be given to people 65 and older.