Unraveling Canada’s Covid-19 Response: Urgent Call For Accountability And Global Vaccine Equity

As of mid-2023, Covid-19 has exacted a heavy toll on Canada, resulting in a direct loss of 52,750 lives and more than 4.6 million reported cases. The cumulative death rate of 1,372 per million surpasses the global average of 855 per million. Despite Canada’s universal healthcare system, the pandemic’s impact has disproportionately affected socially and economically marginalized communities in each wave. Now researchers are calling for an independent, national inquiry to review Canada’s covid-19 response, draw lessons, and ensure accountability for the past and future pandemic preparedness. 

In a series of papers published Monday, July 25, Canadian experts look closely at different aspects of Canada’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They review topics such as data sharing and access, research utilization, coordination among different regions, the strength of healthcare and public health systems, and the handling of Canada’s diverse geography, languages, cultures, and ethnicities during the pandemic. The series reflects on what worked and what didn’t during Canada’s response to COVID-19, suggests what should be investigated in a national inquiry, and offers ideas for the future. 

Among the analyses featured in this series, a piece by GSL Research Fellow Roojin Habibi, Adam R Houston, Joanne Liu, Srinivas Murthy, and Madhukar Pai titled “Canada’s Role in COVID-19 Global Vaccine Equity Failures” emphasizes the pressing need for Canada to reverse its track record from the pandemic and prioritize public welfare over profits in both domestic investments and global leadership in healthcare. Their analysis highlights Canada’s crucial role in the global vaccine equity landscape, calling for concrete actions and a new approach to ensure equitable access to vaccines worldwide. 

 To read this analysis and explore the other articles within the BMJ’s Canada Covid Series, follow the link below: 


July 5, 2023

Identifying Knowledge Gaps In Antimicrobial Resistance


July 25, 2023

Toronto Star Reaches Out To Patrick Fafard For Commentary On BMJ Papers Revealing Canada's Pandemic Response Shortcomings