bangladesh-locks-deal-with-china-to-buy-sinopharm-covid-19-vaccines

Bangladesh locks deal with China to buy Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines



Bangladesh has signed a deal with China to buy Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque disclosed the information during a programme at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Dhaka today.

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Earlier the revelation regarding the price of the jabs created some issues, the minister said.

“This time, strict privacy will be maintained regarding this according to the contract,” he added.

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covid-19:-4-die,-21-infected-in-24-hours-in-thakurgaon

Covid-19: 4 die, 21 infected in 24 hours in Thakurgaon

Four people died from Covid-19 and 21 were infected in 24 hours (till 8am today) in Thakurgaon.

Civil Surgeon Dr Mahfuzar Rahman said, four persons from four upazilas died from coronavirus while 21 tested positive out of 46 samples tested in 24 hours. In the last 11 days, 13 people had died from Covid-19 in the district, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.

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In May 2021, 46 out of 330 samples tested were detected with Covid-19 infection but in June (till today), the number of detections stands at 228 out of 612 samples, Mahfuzar added.    

So far, 1,915 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the district. Of them, 1,596 people have recovered. The death toll from Covid-19 reached 49 today in the district, he said.  

According to the civil surgeon, 22 people were detected with Covid-19 on June 7, 30 on June 8, 39 on June 9, 43 on June 10, and 21 on June 11.

The district and police administration set up check posts in each entry point of the district to make sure people are following health guidelines properly, said Mahfuzar.

mexico-says-covid-19-has-affected-a-fourth-of-its-population

Mexico says Covid-19 has affected a fourth of its population

About a quarter of Mexico’s 126 million people are estimated to have been infected with the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Friday, far more than the country’s confirmed infections.

The 2020 National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut) showed that about 31.1 million people have had the virus, the ministry said in a statement, citing Tonatiuh Barrientos, an official at the National Institute of Public Health.

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The estimate was given as the country recorded 3,282 new cases and 243 more fatalities, taking its total number of confirmed infections to 2,448,820 and the death toll to 229,823.

The government has said previously the real number of cases was likely to be significantly higher.

According to Barrientos, not all of the people in the survey’s estimate necessarily showed symptoms. The survey was based on interviews with people at 13,910 households between Aug. 17 and Nov. 14 last year, and confirmed preliminary results released in December.

Separate data published in March suggested Mexico’s actual death toll was at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

covid-19-deaths-cross-13,000-mark-in-the-country

Covid-19 deaths cross 13,000 mark in the country

Forty-three people have died from Covid-19 in 24 hours (till 8am today), according to a press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

With this, the total number of deaths has reached 13,032 and death rate stands at 1.58 percent.

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At least 2,454 new infections were recorded in the meantime taking the total number of people infected to 8,22,849, added the release.

The current positivity rate is 13.24 percent and the total positivity rate is 13.39 percent.

A total of 18,535 samples were tested across the country in 24 hours (till 8am today).

At least 2,286 Covid-19 patients have recovered during the period.

The total number of recoveries now stands at 7,61,916 and the recovery rate stands at 92.59 percent.

Among the 43 deceased, 30 were men and 13 were women. Of them, one was between 21-30 years old; two between 31-40 years old, four between 41-50, 11 between 51-60, and 24 were above 60 years, added the release.

current-covid-19-positivity-rate-up-at-13.25%

Current Covid-19 positivity rate up at 13.25%

Forty people have died from Covid-19 during 24 hours (till 8am today), according to a press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

With them, the total number of deaths so far reached 12,989 and death rate stands at 1.58 percent.

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At least 2,576 new infections were recorded in the meantime taking the total number of people infected to 8,20,395, added the release.

The current positivity rate is 13.25 percent.

A total of 19,447 samples were tested across the country in 24 hours (till 8am today).

At least 2,061 Covid-19 patients have recovered during the period.

The total number of recoveries now stands at 7,59,630 and the recovery rate at 92.59 percent.

Among the 40 deceased, 31 were men and nine women while one was between 0-10 years old; one was within 21-30; one between 31-40 years old, seven between 41-50, eight within 51-60, and 22 were above 60 years old, added the release.

18-dengue-patients-undergoing-treatment-at-dhaka-hospitals:-dghs

18 dengue patients undergoing treatment at Dhaka hospitals: DGHS

Eighteen dengue patients are receiving treatment at different hospitals in Dhaka until this morning as number of the mosquito-borne disease started to rise across the country.

Five new cases of dengue have been reported in the 24 hours, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a media release.

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A total of 129 patients have been admitted to different hospitals with dengue since January and 111 of them recovered.

The health authorities reported 1,193 dengue cases and three confirmed dengue-related deaths in 2020.

why-do-some-people-get-side-effects-after-covid-19-vaccines?

Why do some people get side effects after Covid-19 vaccines?

Temporary side effects including headache, fatigue and fever are signs the immune system is revving up — a normal response to vaccines. And they’re common.

“The day after getting these vaccines, I wouldn’t plan anything that was strenuous physical activity,” said Dr. Peter Marks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine chief, who experienced fatigue after his first dose.

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Here’s what’s happening: The immune system has two main arms, and the first kicks in as soon as the body detects a foreign intruder. White blood cells swarm to the site, prompting inflammation that’s responsible for chills, soreness, fatigue and other side effects.

This rapid-response step of your immune system tends to wane with age, one reason younger people report side effects more often than older adults. Also, some vaccines simply elicit more reactions than others.

That said, everyone reacts differently. If you didn’t feel anything a day or two after either dose, that doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t working.

Behind the scenes, the shots also set in motion the second part of your immune system, which will provide the real protection from the virus by producing antibodies.

Another nuisance side effect: As the immune system activates, it also sometimes causes temporary swelling in lymph nodes, such as those under the arm. Women are encouraged to schedule routine mammograms ahead of Covid-19 vaccination to avoid a swollen node being mistaken for cancer.

Not all side effects are routine. But after hundreds of millions of vaccine doses administered around the world — and intense safety monitoring — few serious risks have been identified. A tiny percentage of people who got vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson reported an unusual type of blood clot. Some countries reserved those shots for older adults but regulatory authorities say the benefits of offering them still outweigh the risks.

People also occasionally have serious allergic reactions. That’s why you’re asked to stick around for about 15 minutes after getting any type of Covid-19 vaccine — to ensure any reaction can be promptly treated.

Finally, authorities are trying to determine whether temporary heart inflammation that can occur with many types of infections also might be a rare side effect after the mRNA vaccines, the kind made by Pfizer and Moderna. U.S. health officials can’t yet tell if there’s a link but say they’re monitoring a small number of reports, mostly male teens or young adults.

how-vaccines-can-crush-the-variants-and-make-reopening-permanent-in-canada

How vaccines can crush the variants and make reopening permanent in Canada

Canada is poised to battle back more contagious coronavirus variants that threaten to jeopardize reopening plans across the country due to a huge uptick in vaccine supply, a willingness from Canadians to get the shots and some promising new vaccine research. 

People receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ont., on June 4. Experts say getting vaccinated is the biggest step Canadians can take in controlling variants. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.


Canada is poised to battle back the more contagious coronavirus variants that threaten to jeopardize reopening plans across the country due to a huge uptick in vaccine supply, a willingness from Canadians to get the shots and some promising new vaccine research. 

Daily COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped dramatically across the country to levels not seen since the fall, while shipments of vaccines are set to grow substantially — with more than 5.3 million doses arriving next week alone.  

To date, more than 28 million vaccine doses have been administered across Canada, about 72 per cent of eligible Canadians have at least one shot and close to 12 per cent have two.

Yet there have been growing concerns over the spread of variants that have raised doubts about whether we can safely reopen society in Canada’s hardest hit regions, particularly as the United Kingdom grapples with the variant known as delta, or B.1.617

Despite the many uncertainties that lie ahead, experts say that early data from the U.K. and a new study just released in British Columbia point to the same way forward — getting as many shot in arms as soon as possible. 

Variant vs. vaccines

A recent study from Public Health England (PHE) looked at just how effective the first dose is against the delta variant.

The study found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the delta variant two weeks after the second dose, compared to 93 per cent against the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as alpha.

Two doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot were found to be just 60 per cent effective against COVID-19 symptoms from delta, compared to 66 per cent against alpha.

And a single dose of Pfizer and AstraZeneca were each only about 33 per cent effective against delta.  

Experts say it’s important to remember that the study looked at the vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19 symptoms, which can range from mild to severe, and the early estimates on vaccine effectiveness against the variants don’t tell the whole story. 

“One dose of the vaccine, whether it was Pfizer or AstraZeneca, still actually provided quite a bit of protection against severe illness and certainly against hospitalization,” said Prof. Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in emerging viruses at the University of Manitoba.

“Yes we still need to get two doses, but you know what? Even with a single dose these vaccines work amazingly well.”

Kindrachuk says that while delta reinforces the need to fully vaccinate high-risk individuals, like older Canadians and the immunocompromised, getting shots into as many arms as possible will continue to lower community transmission and the spread of variants overall. 

“Any population that isn’t vaccinated is a tinderbox that’s waiting to explode and drive lots of cases and hospitalizations and new variants,” said Prof. Alyson Kelvin, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University and virologist at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatoon.

“The best thing that we can do is stick to a vaccination plan and keep going with it until our entire population is covered by not just one, but two doses. That’s going to be the most effective strategy — not trying to get too caught up in the drama of a new variant.” 

WATCH | How does the delta variant impact vaccine rollouts and reopening?

Two infectious diseases specialists answer questions about the delta coronavirus variant — first identified in India and also known as B.1.617 — including how it could impact vaccine rollouts and reopening plans in Canada. 5:12

Single dose has ‘substantial’ protection

New Canadian research from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) also underscored the effectiveness of even just one dose of mRNA vaccines against the variants and provided new insight into the gamma variant, also known as P.1, for the first time. 

The preprint study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found that a single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna cut the risk of COVID-19 for older adults by about two-thirds during the peak of the spring wave in B.C.

The observational study looked at close to 17,000 people aged 70 and older between April 4 and May 1 — a critical time when both the alpha and gamma made up about 70 per cent of cases circulating in the province. 

The researchers also concluded that single dose protection for older adults was only “minimally reduced” against alpha and gamma, which they said “reinforces” Canada’s decision to defer second doses of COVID-19 vaccines at a time when supply was limited.

“Even at the peak of the pandemic and even with most viruses being these variants of concern, we showed substantial reduction in risk amongst vaccinated older adults compared to unvaccinated adults,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, the epidemiology lead at the BCCDC and lead author of the study. 

“It’s particularly meaningful because this single dose protection was provided during that substantial third wave — the peak of the pandemic for us in B.C.”

Dr. Danuta Skowronski says researchers at the BCCDC have their sights set on researching vaccine effectiveness against the delta variant in the near future.  (CBC)

Skowronski says the study provides the world’s first vaccine effectiveness estimate against the gamma variant and was made possible due to the unique position B.C. found itself in, with multiple variants circulating at the same time unlike anywhere else in the world.

“We were able to derive and show that protection was maintained against P.1, which remained an open question globally,” Skowronski said. “So we have addressed that question and shown comparable protections to B.1.1.7.” 

While BCCDC researchers weren’t able to analyze vaccine effectiveness against the delta variant, which had not yet been circulating widely in Canada at the time, Skowronski says the team has their sights set on it in the near future. 

“Looking at the data, we can be optimistic that we’ll have a good per cent effectiveness against delta,” said Kelvin, who was not involved in the study.

“Of course we want everybody to get the second dose but I still am very optimistic.” 

But Skowronski cautions Canadians not to draw too many conclusions from the data emerging from the U.K. on the delta variant, or any one study, due to the fact that it’s largely observational and needs to be backed up by real-world immunogenicity research, which measures the immune responses that a vaccine generates. 

“It’s a signal of concern related to a variant of concern that warrants further evaluation, which is why we’re on it,” she said. “Then we can react.” 

‘Get the second dose’

Experts agree the biggest threat to Canadians at the moment isn’t variants — despite the dizzying pace of research being released worldwide — it’s not being vaccinated at all. 

“So far for the variants that we have encountered, about which there has been initial shock and awe and then some settling of that, we’ve not seen a big impact,” Skowronski said.

“Ultimately, we still want to get the second dose in and this is helping us reinforce and understand why that may be necessary.”

Allison Downing, a registered nurse, prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Dartmouth, N.S., on June 3. Experts agree the biggest threat to Canadians at the moment isn’t variants — it’s not being vaccinated at all. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Kelvin says the decision to delay second doses in Canada allowed for more single dose coverage, which ultimately prevented the virus from infecting more people, increasing hospitalizations and deaths and may have stopped the emergence of new variants here. 

“What we want to watch for is: are these viruses changing significantly? … We want to keep on top of what’s going on with new variants,” she said.

“What we can all do is get vaccinated and try to reduce our contacts to reduce the opportunity for the virus to mutate — that’s going to be the biggest role that we can play in controlling variants.” 

Kelvin says if Canada continues to drive COVID-19 levels down across the country, we should be able to maintain low levels of community transmission — which will largely be driven by pockets of people who aren’t vaccinated.

“We’re in a very different position than we were certainly in the early parts of this year,” said Kindrachuk.

“Vaccinations are going to keep getting out and once we hit that threshold, things are going to change very, very quickly. I think they already are, but I think they’re going to change substantially in the next few weeks.”


This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.

new-covid-19-cases-have-dropped-80-per-cent-—-and-5.3-million-more-shots-are-set-to-arrive-next-week

New COVID-19 cases have dropped 80 per cent — and 5.3 million more shots are set to arrive next week

After months of mostly bad news, Canada’s chief public health officer said today the country’s COVID-19 trajectory has improved dramatically and an anticipated flood of doses should put the country “on the path back to the things we miss.”

Team Canada wheelchair rugby player Travis Murao, 38, gets his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for Olympic athletes at the Pan Am Centre in Toronto on May 28, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

After months of mostly bad news, Canada’s chief public health officer said today the country’s COVID-19 trajectory has improved dramatically and an anticipated flood of doses should put the country “on the path back to the things we miss.”

As of Friday, Canada was averaging about 1,500 new cases a day — an 80 per cent decline from two months ago and a number comparable to the caseload reported in mid-October, before the deadly winter surge, according to data provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Since peaking in mid-April, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths nationwide have drastically declined.

Over 27.7 million vaccine doses have been administered across Canada and 2.6 million doses were given in the past week alone, Dr. Theresa Tam said.

About 72 per cent of all Canadians over the age of 12 have been partially vaccinated and 11.8 per cent have had both doses.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa in May, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“As Canada steps into the vaccination fast lane, there is a lot for us to take pride in,” Tam said.

“We’re in a good position,” said Dr. Howard Njoo, Tam’s deputy. “I believe the case curve is now moving downwards and, if we keep up with vaccinations and public health measures, I believe the curve will continue to descend.”

According to data collated by the University of Oxford-based Our World in Data, Canada now ranks first globally in terms of the share of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine, having surpassed previous leader Israel yesterday.

About 63.6 per cent of all Canadians — a metric that counts all people in the country, including those younger than 12 who are not yet eligible for a shot — now have some sort of vaccine coverage. That’s marginally better than the 63.2 per cent reported in Israel.

But Canada lags other countries when it comes to getting the second “booster” shots into arms. “Of course, we want the two doses faster,” Tam said.

Moderna steps up

Those numbers are expected to tick even higher now that Moderna has confirmed it will ship more than seven million vaccine doses to Canada this month.

More Moderna shots are set to arrive next week than the company delivered in the first three months of this year. Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, the military commander leading vaccine logistics at PHAC, said 2.9 million of the seven million shots will arrive next week, with the remainder expected over the week of June 21.

Combined with Pfizer’s promise to ship 2.4 million shots, that means more than 5.3 million mRNA doses will be delivered to provinces and territories next week alone — a figure that should supercharge the country’s immunization campaign.

With so many eligible Canadians already vaccinated with at least one dose, the focus will shift now to administering booster shots to build immunity as the highly infectious Delta variant — the strain that was first identified in India — begins to circulate in many communities.

‘Shoot for the stars’

Tam said Canada should “shoot for the stars” and aim to vaccinate much more than 75 per cent of the population with at least one dose.

In the past, Tam has said Canada must vaccinate at least three-quarters of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus and protect hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now, she said, she wants the country to go even higher to ensure a fourth wave can’t take hold.

“If we get variants that are more transmissible, and if we get variants that evade the vaccine immunity by a little bit, it’s much better to shoot for higher,” Tam said.

Tam said getting just one shot isn’t enough to let Canadians go back to doing all the pre-pandemic things they miss because the booster shot is needed to build substantial immunity against COVID-19.

“Because of the Delta variant, I’m advising caution, particularly between the first and second doses,” she said.

“It’s so important for everyone to realize that one dose doesn’t do it. You really need to be fully vaccinated,” Njoo added. “Hopefully, we can accelerate and have many more Canadians receive their two doses by late summer and maybe even earlier, who knows.”

Njoo said he’s hoping Canada doesn’t hit a “plateau” with vaccination rates stuck at their current levels — a trend that some countries, notably the U.S., have experienced.

He said public health officials are working on strategies to get the vaccine-hesitant onside.

AZ doses on the way

Joelle Paquette, the director general responsible for vaccine procurement at Public Services and Procurement Canada, also provided some promising news to AstraZeneca recipients Friday.

Paquette said the company has confirmed one million doses of that product will arrive during the week of June 28. While those doses have been promised for some time, the government has been unable to offer a firm delivery timeline before now.

While the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has said Canadians can mix-and-match vaccines, this AstraZeneca shipment will help inoculate some of the 2 million Canadians who already have received a shot of that product.

Meanwhile, the 310,000 Johnson & Johnson doses that Canada has in its possession face an uncertain future. Doses of this one-shot product have been sitting in storage for weeks while Health Canada verifies the product’s safety. 

Workers at Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland-based company that was manufacturing that product, inadvertently ruined 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine by mixing up materials intended for the production of AstraZeneca shots.

U.S. regulators today told J&J that about 60 million doses made at that troubled factory cannot be used because of possible contamination. Canada’s supply of doses, which were made at the Emergent plant, will be kept out of the supply chain for now, Paquette said.

canada-to-commit-to-sharing-up-to-100-million-covid-19-vaccine-doses

Canada to commit to sharing up to 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Canada will commit to sharing up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in a formal announcement that will come later in the G7 summit, the country’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom said Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, an oceanside village in southwest England, on Friday June 11, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Canada will commit to sharing up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in a formal announcement that will come later in the G7 summit, the country’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom said Friday.

Ralph Goodale’s remarks came as pressure increased on the Liberal government to clearly outline its strategy to contribute to a growing international effort to immunize the world’s population more quickly.

Earlier in the day, a government official speaking on background floated the 100 million figure to the media contingent travelling with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the G7 — his first foreign trip since the onset of the pandemic.

The government official was unable to say how much of the planned announcement involved new money or direct vaccine contributions, and how much will be drawn from what Canada has contributed already to COVAX, the World Health Organization’s vaccine initiative.

Goodale said the details will have to wait until the end of the summit. He insisted the donation will not affect the supply of lifesaving vaccines meant for Canadians.

“Canadians shouldn’t be worried about any negative impact within Canada,” said Goodale, who indicated that details will be released in a table that compares Canada’s contribution to other G7 nations.

“The exact proportions in terms of cash contributions and in-kind contributions, that will be summarized on Sunday.”

Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, former federal cabinet minister, Ralph Goodale speaks to the media in Cornwall, UK during the G7 Summit. (Murray Brewster/CBC News)

Goodale also insisted that Canada, through COVAX, has been at the forefront of the international effort to get people in poorer countries vaccinated.

“We were quick off the mark to participate in the global effort and to be among the most generous countries in the world,” he said.

Speaking to the press at COVID-19 briefing in Ottawa, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said a donation on this scale won’t disrupt the domestic immunization campaign.

He said that, based on the projected delivery schedule, Canada will have enough doses to fully vaccinate every Canadian by September, even if some of the shots on order are redirected to other countries in need.

“I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Njoo said. “It’s not one or the other. I think both things can happen at the same time.”

Vaccine deliveries speeding up

Between the planned Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca shipments, 55.8 million vaccine doses are expected to be delivered to Canada by the end of July. That number likely will be even higher, since Moderna has not yet confirmed its shipments for the month of July.

That’s enough product to fully vaccinate 27.9 million people with both doses, or roughly 84 per cent of the 31.9 million Canadians over the age of 12 who are eligible for a vaccine.

Joelle Paquette, the director general responsible for vaccine procurement at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said Canada has secured some 400 million doses from several suppliers, millions more than the number needed to get the population the two necessary doses.

“We are in a position where this is possible,” she said of the G7 commitment. “It will not impact our objective of fully vaccinating all Canadians.”

All countries at the G7 summit, he added, are feeling pressure to step up — not just Canada.

The United Kingdom dramatically raised the international stakes on Thursday by announcing a large-scale donation of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he wants to see the globe fully vaccinated by the end of next year, said late Thursday Britain will donate 100 million doses by the end of the year.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton on May 28, 2021. (Mathieu Theriault/CBC)

Canada’s timeline is less clear.

The British announcement followed a pledge earlier this week from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to deliver 500 million doses.

Johnson announced the U.K.’s contribution on the eve of the G7 summit.

“I think you have to look at what the U.K. is doing overall because it is colossal,” Johnson was quoted as saying by British media during a waterfront availability.

For weeks, Johnson has been pushing G7 countries to set a goal of vaccinating the world by the end of 2022, rather than 2024 or 2025, which is the current goal of health officials.

In a recent interview with the CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, Johnson said Prime Minister Trudeau and the leaders of France and Germany are keen on the idea and that he has high expectations for the summit.

“We’ll be looking to come up with some big numbers, because, after all, nobody is safe until everybody is safe,” he said. 

The world’s leading democracies are expected to announce they will provide at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world by the end of the G7 summit.

While Canada doesn’t produce any COVID-19 vaccines of its own, it has been criticized by a group of 32 humanitarian agencies for not sharing any doses of imported vaccines.

Last week, International Development Minister Karina Gould told a Senate committee Canada will eventually share doses, but at the moment it doesn’t have any excess because the country is still trying to get every Canadian immunized.

Canada pledges $440M to COVAX

Canada recently doubled its financial commitment to COVAX to $440 million.

The international agency has been struggling to close off an urgent gap of 200 million doses, which was created by manufacturing delays and supply disruptions coming out of India — the result of a massive outbreak in that country.