Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has explained why Ukrainians are afraid of getting vaccinated with a free COVID-19 vaccine.

He said this on the air of Shuster Online.

Read alsoUkraine publishes COVID-19 vaccination schedule

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The minister says this is due to comments on vaccination issues by people without special education.

"Because everyone, including politicians, thinks that they must comment on the issue of vaccination – what kind of a vaccine should be used, whether it is good or not. Excuse me, please. I am a doctor by education and I do not allow myself to comment on such issues. We have experts. I could say for sure that we will use a safe vaccine, which will be allowed on the Ukrainian market when they say it is effective and safe," he said.

According to him, a mere 39% are ready to get vaccinated.

"These are 38% of healthcare workers in hospitals who provide care for COVID-19, as well as ambulance teams, including drivers, and mobile [vaccination] teams that are to be vaccinated and enter the first phase," he said.

COVID-19 vaccine for Ukraine

  • In February-March 2021, Ukraine expects the delivery of a vaccine against COVID-19.
  • The first batch of a vaccine via the COVAX Facility will include 8 million doses, which will be enough to vaccinate 4 million people (two shots per person required). First to get vaccinated will be healthcare workers, the elderly, and seriously ill patients.
  • On December 24, 2020, Health Minister Stepanov said that his ministry was working out a plan to increase the COVAX vaccine quota from 8 million to 16 million doses.
  • On December 30, Ukraine signed a contract with China's Sinovac for the supply of 1.9 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 170 experimental vaccines are currently at the stage of preclinical trials, 65 are undergoing clinical trials, of which 15 are at the third, last stage.