Ukraine asks the United States to help with the vaccine / REUTERS

Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has asked the United States to consider Ukraine as a potential priority candidate for a coronavirus vaccine in a "testing and emergency-use mode."

Stepanov said this during a telephone conversation with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kristina A. Kvien, the Ukrainian Health Ministry's press service said.

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Asking for help, the minister mentioned, among other things, that Ukraine has been seeing the hardest times over Russian aggression in its east.

"In the next two weeks, we will sign contracts for the supply of vaccines against COVID-19 with some producers. However, this does not guarantee that Ukraine will receive vaccines in the coming months, because the first batch of vaccines produced will cover the needs of GAVI COVAX," he said.

The U.S. envoy, in turn, assured that she and her team would do their best to ensure that Ukraine receives vaccines against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Kvien said the U.S. supported the Ukrainian Health Ministry's official position not to use the Russia-developed vaccine, which has not passed all phases of clinical trials. She said a meeting would be held with the U.S. government on the supply of vaccines to Ukraine, where the sides will discuss the deadlines and volumes of delivery.

In addition, she noted that their team would help the Health Ministry to work out the mechanics and develop an action plan for logistics and vaccination plans.

Coronavirus vaccines

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on November 10 had a phone call with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking the German leader to assist in supplying a U.S.-German-developed COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine.
  • On November 16, Moderna, Inc. said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.
  • On November 18, the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) confirmed the reports on plans to provide Ukraine with a free vaccine against the coronavirus disease. In particular, about 4 million Ukrainian nationals will be able to get vaccinated in the first half of 2021. Later it became known that proper vaccination includes two shots at a price of US$7 each.
  • 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.