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LETTER: Canada must share vaccines with the world

As a local resident, grandmother and advocate for human rights, Global Vaccine Equity is very important to me.

Canada has pledged to donate 200 million vaccine doses to COVAX, the global vaccine sharing facility. We’re now in the third year of the pandemic and we have only delivered 15 million doses. This is shameful and worse, we have excess doses that are going to expire instead of saving lives.

Our international reputation is in the mud. We are known as a “vaccine hoarder.” We all need to wake up to the realities of COVID worldwide and how it will affect us. Variants will continue to emerge unless the world is vaccinated. None of us are safe until everyone is safe.

Canada is withholding its support for the TRIPS Waiver (a proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights that would allow manufacturing of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries) even though 100 governments at the World Trade Organization support the waiver. It is absolutely disgraceful that we have left behind so many countries. “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” (Dr. Paul Farmer)

Diane Scaletta