Canada spent $24M on COVID-19 vaccines received in January: StatCan
OTTAWA -- Canada spent $24 million on the hundreds of thousands of vaccines the country received in January, according to newly released estimates of trade data from Statistics Canada.
StatCan did not provide a per-dose figure or breakdown costs between Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots in their Friday release. Health Canada told CTV News that Canada received 695,275 doses from both Moderna and Pfizer in January. On a per-dose basis that would mean the Canadian government would have paid roughly $34.51 per dose.
The StatCan review of vaccine shipments is a rare look into the cost of the immunization effort. Despite calls from opposition parties, the government has not released any details from the seven vaccine contracts Ottawa has signed with suppliers. On November 5, Procurement Minister Anita Anand told the House of Commons Health Committee that “the confidentiality provisions which prevent me from providing specifics relating to price” but the government has paid “fair value for vaccines.”
In the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the government said they “had invested more than $1 billion in vaccine agreements to secure a domestic supply of seven promising vaccine candidates,” but have provided no other specifics on the file.
Previous analysis based on StatCan data shows the federal government spent $16 million in December to receive their first shipments 423,900 doses of both Pfizer and Moderna, costing an average of $37.74 per dose.
While not official numbers, Canada seems to have paid more per dose compared to other countries that received early shipments.
In July, BNN Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government paid just over $24.50 per dose of the Pfizer vaccine and Reuters has reported the U.S. has paid $19.27 per dose for the Moderna one.
While the European Union attempted to follow Canada’s lead and not publicly share information related to vaccine contracts, Belgium’s budget state secretary Eva De Bleeker posted then quickly deleted the confidential price list on Twitter. The list, published in The Guardian, shows the EU paid $18.32 per dose for Pfizer and $27.48 per dose for Moderna.