Health minister elaborates on progress to buy surplus COVID-19 vaccines / REUTERS

Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to Ukraine through individual countries that have purchased such vaccines from producers in advance and have surplus stocks is expected in late March or early April.

"There are some countries with which we are really far advanced for the purchase of the doses of vaccines they have contracted. But the least that can be for the supply of these vaccines is not earlier, perhaps, in late March - early April," he told Ukraina 24 TV channel.

According to Stepanov, Ukraine is persistently working with many states to purchase vaccines and is ready for such cooperation, primarily with the European Union.

Read alsoCommercial COVID-19 vaccine may appear no earlier than summer – health ministerHe said the timing of such deliveries is offered by those countries with which negotiations are underway.

At the same time, no agreement has been signed with other countries on this issue yet, the minister added.

COVID-19 vaccine for Ukraine

  • On January 30, 2021, Ukrainian Deputy Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko said Ukraine would receive 117,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within the COVAX (the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility) in February.
  • From the middle of February to the end of June 2021, Ukraine will obtain 2.2 million to 3.7 million doses of an AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.
  • First to get vaccinated will be healthcare workers, the elderly, and seriously ill patients.
  • In December 2020, the Health Ministry's coronavirus task force approved a COVID-19 immunization plan under which at least 50% of Ukrainians (20 million people) are to be vaccinated during 2021-2022.
  • On January 29, the National Commission for technology-related and environmental safety and emergencies approved a schedule for vaccination against the coronavirus in Ukraine in 2021.

***COVAX is a global initiative created by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to accelerate the development, production, and equal access to tests, treatment and vaccines against COVID-19.

Ukraine joined the COVAX initiative under the GAVI Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines. The first part of the application to GAVI was submitted on December 7, 2020, and was verified on December 11. Thanks to this, Ukraine will be able to receive at least 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 4 million Ukrainians.