Feds Spent an Estimated $10.6B on COVID Vaccines; Destroyed 74M Doses Worth $2.1B

by EditorK

Vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at Woodbine Racetrack pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/Files

Noé Chartier
By Noé Chartier 

The federal government has destroyed almost a third of all COVID-19 vaccine doses that entered its inventory, after spending an estimated total of $10.6 billion on vaccine purchases.

Information tabled by the government in an Inquiry of Ministry on April 8 provides a breakdown of every dose purchased, donated, and destroyed, listed by manufacturers and product types.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) says a total of 353.5 million doses were purchased through advanced purchase agreements with under ten manufacturers, enough to vaccinate every Canadian over eight times.

Many of the doses were never delivered, due to a company folding or not developing a vaccine. Many of the doses have also yet to be make it into federal inventory or have been forfeited.

As of Feb. 6, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) accounted fo 252,090,980 vaccine doses.

The agency says in the Inquiry document that the information provided does not account for new doses expected to be delivered after February. It also excludes doses held in federal inventory that haven’t been distributed, donated, or destroyed.

Out of the 252 million doses, over 138 million were distributed domestically, nearly 29 million were donated internationally, and nearly 74 million were destroyed. The destruction, due to expiry or cold chain excursions, has impacted 29 percent of all doses as of February.

The government released the information further to an order paper question from Conservative MP Dean Allison. Mr. Allison asked for the amounts Ottawa paid vaccine manufacturers but the figures were not provided, with the government citing contract confidentiality.

The Office of the Auditor General conducted an audit of vaccine procurement in 2022 and estimated the cost per dose at around $30.

Based on this estimate, Ottawa would have spent over $10.6 billion on 353.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, with over $2.2 billion being wasted on destroyed doses.

A December briefing note for Health Minister Mark Holland indicates that PHAC does not intend to purchase additional COVID-19 vaccines “once firm contractual deliveries under existing Advance Purchase Agreements are completed at the end of the calendar year 2024.”

Information in the Inquiry of Ministry tabled by PSPC provides data on the advance purchase agreements for each manufacturer.

Ottawa purchased 119 million doses from Pfizer Canada, 78.5 million doses from Moderna, 10 million doses from Janssen, 47 million doses from Novavax, and 27 million from AstraZeneca and affiliates.

The federal government also purchased 52 million doses from Sanofi Pasteur and 20 million from Medicago.

No doses were delivered by Sanofi and Medicago, with the latter folding its Quebec operations in 2023. Ottawa invested $323 million in Medicago but received no doses, and subsequently recouped only $40 million of the money invested.

MPs in the House of Commons have focused on the Medicago debacle and not the loss from the Sanofi investment. PSPC has refused to provide information on the value of that contract.

There was also major waste with the products purchased from other manufacturers. Almost the totality of the 38 million vaccines obtained from Novavax ended up being discarded, save for 278,860 doses.

As for the two vector-based vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), they were quickly all but pulled from circulation over blood clot concerns.

Out of over 25 million purchased doses of AstraZeneca as of February, 3 million were distributed domestically. Over 13 million doses were destroyed and nearly 9 million doses were donated to poorer countries.

With regards to Johnson & Johnson, only 45,095 doses were distributed domestically out of 10 million doses purchased. Over 9.8 million doses were donated and 143,705 were destroyed.

Countries receiving the most doses include Mexico with 3 million doses of the Pfizer product, Nigeria with 2.6 million doses of Janssen, and Bangladesh with 2.2 million doses of AstraZeneca.

COVID-19 stopped being considered a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization in May 2023.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization, however, continues to recommend a spring booster dose for adults over 65, for residents of long-term care homes or seniors’ residences, and individuals over 6 months who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Noé Chartier is a senior reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times. Twitter: @NChartierET

You may also like