REUTERS

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says China is ready to supply a COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine.

The minister announced this on TV Channel Ukraina 24, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

Read alsoUkraine could additionally get 8 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine for free – health official"They are ready to supply it," Kuleba said.

According to him, Ukraine is currently in talks with China on the supply of the vaccine.

He specified that his ministry was helping the Ukrainian Health Ministry with establishing contacts with a Chinese vaccine producer.

Possible purchases of the Chinese vaccine will not affect Ukraine's ability to buy vaccines in other countries, and in particular in the United States, he said.

According to the minister, the Ukrainian authorities, the president, ambassadors based abroad help the Health Ministry with ensuring the supply of vaccines from around the world.

"It is the main focus of the president's attention. It is achievable the following way. Firstly, we can use political leverage to increase the number of vaccines that will be delivered to us through the COVAX Facility... Secondly, some countries have already reserved or purchased such a number of vaccines that allows them to vaccinate their population from three to four times. We ask such countries to sell or hand excess doses of vaccines over to us," Kuleba said.

The minister also named the third aspect in the issue of vaccine supplies – this is political influence. "That is, you approach a manufacturing company and the vaccine manufacturer says: 'We are ready, but we need [to know] the position of the government of the country where our business, our production is located.' And then you go to the government of that country to negotiate with them," he added.

Vaccine against coronavirus in Ukraine

  • In March, the first batch with 8 million doses of a vaccine is expected to be shipped to Ukraine under the COVAX Facility. These doses are enough to vaccinate 4 million people, because one person needs two shots of the vaccine. Doctors, senior citizens, and seriously ill patients will get vaccinated first.
  • On December 24, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said that his ministry was working out a plan to increase the vaccine quota as part of the COVAX global initiative from 8 million to 16 million doses.
  • On the same day, Stepanov signed a roadmap for mass vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine in 2021-2022.