The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has signed a contract for a supply of 1.9 million doses of coronavirus vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.
According to the website of the Office of the President, it is planned to use the vaccine to protect primarily those citizens who are at critical risk of being infected and those who perform critical functions in the fight against the pandemic. Vaccination will be free of charge.
The first batch of the vaccine in the amount of 700,000 doses will be delivered to Ukraine within 30 days after official registration in China, or by a relevant agency of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Swiss Confederation, Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel, India, Mexico, Brazil, or under a centralised procedure by the competent authority of the European Union.
“The main thing is that we conducted very active multi-month negotiations and got concrete results. In a short time, we will start a large-scale national vaccination program. “We desperately need to protect the most vulnerable social groups, and the state will definitely fulfill this task,” the press service quoted the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky as saying.
The President’s Office also added that Ukraine is continuing negotiations with all reliable manufacturers to increase Ukrainians’ access to an effective and safe vaccine.
The report also emphasises that Sinovac Biotech is the largest Chinese vaccine manufacturer. It annually produces between 300 and 500 million doses of vaccines which are approved in 34 countries. The company developed and launched vaccines for hepatitis A and B; influenza viruses, including bird flu; and mumps.
Meanwhile, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organisation, called for vaccines to be available to all people at risk, not just rich countries. In a video address to the world community, the WHO director-general appealed for $4 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines for distribution in lower and middle-income countries through the COVAX vaccine facility.