President Joe Biden just injected some hope into Canada’s veins by hinting that he may be hooking up the country with some extra COVID-19 vaccines.
The U.S. currently has a surplus of vaccine doses that aren’t being used, Biden said on Wednesday. That’s likely a reference to the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, which has been approved for use by Health Canada but not by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
During a press conference to announce that his country has reached a milestone of 200 million doses administered, Biden said he had talked on the phone with “a fella who’s working really hard to take care of his country.” He went on to reveal that the fella in question was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We helped a little bit there. We’re going to try and help some more,” Biden said about Canada.
Earlier this month, Canada surpassed the U.S. in new COVID cases per capita for the first time since the pandemic hit.
The U.S. has already provided Canada with 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while giving 2.5 million doses to Mexico.
“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using and we hope to be able to be of some help and value to countries around the world,” Biden said Wednesday.
He cautioned that the plan was still a work in progress.
While the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot is not approved in the U.S., Health Canada has said the vaccine is safe and effective for all adults in spite of a potential link to an extremely rare and treatable blood clot syndrome.
British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario have all approved the vaccine for people aged 40 and up, and in Quebec as young as 45.