Canadian gov’t agencies spent CA$9.9 million on social media ads to promote COVID-19 vaccines
By Laura Harris // Apr 26, 2024

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC) have collectively invested approximately CA$9.9 million ($7.26 million) in social media advertising to promote Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations since 2020.

The disclosure, which came to light following a demand for transparency from Conservative Party of Canada MP Ted Falk, reveals the large advertising spending of the Canadian government on COVID-19 shots.

According to recently unveiled information, from 2020 to 2024, PHAC and HC allocated about CA$4.6 million ($3.37 million) toward the production costs of advertisements, with the remaining CA$5.3 million ($3.89 million) spent on the actual promotion of COVID-19 vaccines on various social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest.

One campaign, titled "Ripple Effect," commanded a budget of CA$1.8 million ($1.32 million). The PHAC argued that the campaign would "remind Canadians about the collective vaccination effort required to see a reduction in restrictions and public health measures."

Campaigns that target young adults received substantial funding ranging from CA$75,000 ($55,000) to CA$564,000 ($413,000), while the promotion of COVID-19 shots to parents with kids received CA$1.5 million ($1.1 million) in funding from PHAC.

Moreover, HC also invested approximately CA$132,000 ($96,700) in collaborating with social media influencers to advocate for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Trudeau government assumed Canadians will continue to take booster shots

All this spending is rooted in the existing contract of the administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to purchase new shipments of COVID-19 vaccines even after HC had already thrown away CA$1.59 billion ($1.17 billion) worth of expired vaccines.

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"As additional vaccines were authorized for use in Canada, manufacturers increased production capacity and demand from Canadians decreased," Liberal Health Minister Mark Holland explained in a Dec. 6, 2023 note briefing. "Overall wastage increased. Additionally, as new formulations have been authorized for use to address variants of concern, wastage of older formulations has increased.

"The Public Health Agency does not intend to procure additional COVID-19 vaccines once firm contractual deliveries under existing Advance Purchase Agreements are completed at the end of the calendar year 2024 for messenger RiboNucleic Acid vaccines and in 2024 for non-mRNA vaccines," said the note.

A 2023 report from Public Services and Procurement Canada reveals that up to 90.8 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer Canada, Novovax Incorporated and Moderna Inc., until December 31, 2024.

But 52.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, worth CA$1.59 billion, have been thrown away since Nov. 24, 2023. The Trudeau government still assumes it can use the vaccines for "future use" and expects Canadians to continue to take booster shots. (Related: Canadian government data reveals that most people are avoiding COVID-19 boosters.)

However, government research has revealed that the majority of Canadians are flat-out refusing a COVID-19 booster shot. Data listed on the Canadian government's vaccination coverage dashboard shows that only 14.6 percent of Canadians have received the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 booster shot.

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Sources include: 1 2 3

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