About 20 million Ukrainians are to be vaccinated against coronavirus at the expense of budget funds.

Health Minister Maksym Stepanov announced this on a TV talk show, according to the Segodnya media outlet.

Read alsoOver half of Ukrainians ready to get free COVID-19 vaccine – poll

"All risk groups number about 20 million people. We think they need to get a [COVID-19] vaccine and need to be vaccinated at the expense of the state budget," he said.

According to him, first of all, the government will offer free doses to citizens at risk, i.e. those who are 60 and older, patients suffering from chronic diseases and different groups of professionals (healthcare workers, teachers, etc.).

The minister forecasts that first batches of vaccines under the COVAX facility are expected in Ukraine in the first quarter of 2021.

"We should receive 8 million doses as part of this initiative in the first half of 2021. We hope this will be the end of the first or the beginning of the second quarter," Stepanov said.

The minister stressed that the program covers such vaccines as AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Novavax. The vaccines are produced according to different principles, he said.

Coronavirus vaccines

  • On December 4, the Verkhovna Rada allowed a fast-track procedure for the approval of clinical trials and state registration for vaccines or other immunobiological medications to be used to prevent the coronavirus.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers has already announced that Ukraine will get accelerated access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • According to scientists, the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna has been shown to create immunity against the virus for at least three months.