Canada should focus on vaccine equity — not travel bans — human rights advocate, doctors say – CBC

The emergence of omicron shows Canada needs to send more vaccines overseas, and soon, the doctors told CBC

Dec 03, 2021

Health and infectious disease specialists are calling for the government of Canada to focus on global vaccine equity, not travel bans, as it takes measures to respond to news of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The doctors, along with a human rights policy specialist who spoke to CBC this week, said the federal government can and should increase its vaccine shipments to low-income countries sooner than planned, encourage more vaccine production and advocate for rules to make pharmaceutical companies release vaccine recipes.

And doing so is in the best interest of everyone, they said.

“If you don’t want to be altruistic … and if you only want to be self-interested, it’s in your interest to have everybody on this planet vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Ross Upshur, a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the department of family medicine at the University of Toronto.

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