Ukrainian biophysicist Semen Yesylevskyy says the development of a COVID-19 vaccine in Ukraine is not yet possible.

Read alsoNew COVID-19 rapid tests may emerge in Ukraine next week: health officialThe country lacks proper conditions for its production, he said in his medical blog post on October 21.

"There are no laboratories in Ukraine with the required level of biosafety to develop a COVID-19 vaccine ... Even if this development [presented by the President's Office on October 20] suddenly reaches the vaccine stage, it will be a Turkish vaccine, [developed] with the participation of a Ukrainian-based subsidiary of an international private pharmaceutical company [developers want to conduct trials in Turkey]," he said.

The scientist says he does not understand why there is the need for a local vaccine at an early, preclinical stage, while vaccines being developed by the global pharmacology industry are expected to be ready and presented on the market in a few months.

Ukraine's development of COVID-19 vaccine

  • In April, Ukraine's Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would pay a whopping US$1 million prize to local scientists who will develop a successful coronavirus vaccine.
  • On October 1, Zelensky said four or five drugs for COVID-19 prevention or treatment were being tested in Ukraine.
  • On October 20, a pilot vaccine development was showcased to the president. According to Expert and Doctor of Medical Sciences Mykhailo Favorov, the current substance suggests that the future drug will help fight new types of coronavirus infections, which are constantly mutating.
  • At the same time, Yesylevskyy says Favorov heads the company that is a "candidate for [developing] the vaccine." Trials of the vaccine are expected to be conducted in Turkish laboratories.