Ukraine's plan to roll out a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine from next month faces possible delay because of regulatory hold-ups in a further risk to the country's slow-moving vaccination program.

Reuters reported this with reference to a letter written by the importer.

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In the February 3 letter, seen by Reuters, the importer, a partner of vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech, asked Ukrainian authorities to be allowed to delay the first shipments of its COVID-19 vaccines to April.

The importer, Ukraine-based Lekhim, cited delays in obtaining an export license from the Chinese government and the late adoption by Ukraine's parliament of a special vaccine registration law.

"The consequences of these events were the delay in the coordination of the delivery schedule between JSC Lekhim and Sinovac Biotech and the postponement of the delivery of the vaccine in Ukraine," said the letter.

COVID-19 vaccine for Ukraine

  • Ukraine plans to launch a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the middle of February 2021.
  • On December 30, 2020, Ukraine signed a contract for the supply of 1.9 million doses of China's Sinovac vaccine.
  • 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.
  • On February 5, Health Minister Stepanov said shipments of 12 million doses of vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Novavax to Ukraine had been confirmed.
  • 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.
  • First to get vaccinated will be healthcare workers, the elderly, and seriously ill patients.