Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says the ministry has drawn up schedules for the forthcoming vaccination of Ukrainians against COVID-19 and identified the priority population categories to this end.

The work is now underway in the ministry to get the vaccine as soon as possible, he told a briefing on December 8, as reported by an UNIAN correspondent.

"Last Friday, I signed technical documents with the COVAX [the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility]. We're expected to receive it in the first half of 2021 and we count on the end of the first – the beginning of the second quarter. We're to receive 8 million doses," the minister said.

"We're working hard to get the vaccine as soon as possible. The ministry clearly understand [the situation], having drawn up the appropriate vaccination schedules. We ranked people by priorities, considering that priority population groups should be those at risk ... these are our doctors, teachers, National Police employees, as well as a high-risk patient group by age, health status, concomitant diseases, and those over 60 years old. The priority is given to older people who are quite difficult to tolerate this serious illness," he added.

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On December 5, Stepanov announced that the first 8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine could be delivered to Ukraine not earlier than the end of the first quarter of 2021. Doctors, the elderly, and seriously ill people are expected to get top priority to receive vaccines.

On December 6, Chairman of the Biosafety and Biological Protection Commission at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Member of the National Academy of Sciences Serhiy Komisarenko said mass vaccination of Ukrainians against coronavirus might begin no earlier than mid-2021.

COVID-19 in Ukraine: Latest developments

Ukraine said 10,811 new active COVID-19 cases had been confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours as of December 8, 2020.

The total number of confirmed cases grew to 832,758.