Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has assured that if China's Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine, which was ordered by the Health Ministry, fails to comply with international registration rules, it will not be supplied to Ukraine.

Read alsoMasks, social distancing until year-end: Shmyhal on quarantine prospects"Ukraine has held negotiations with all manufacturers of vaccines that exist today and that have passed at least two stages of clinical trials, and those that are now at the third stage. The contracts have already been signed. We expect supplies of correctly registered vaccines no later than February," he said at a morning TV show Snidanok z 1+1 on January 15, as reported by the Ukrainian TSN TV news service.

"There will be all vaccines that are registered in line with all international regulations. If Sinovac fails to comply with these rules, or if any other vaccine fails to meet regulations, it won't be available in Ukraine," he added.

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Vaccines for Ukraine: Background

In March, the first batch with 8 million doses of the vaccine is expected to be shipped to Ukraine under the COVAX Facility. These doses are enough to vaccinate 4 million people as two jabs per person are required. Medics, 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 December 22, Ukraine's Health Ministry approved a plan for vaccination of the population against COVID-19. The goal of this plan is to vaccinate at least 50% of the population of Ukraine (20 million people) in 2021-2022.

On December 30, the Ukrainian Health Ministry signed a contract for the supply of China's Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine. The purchase provides for 1,913,316 doses at UAH 504 (US$18) per dose. China plans to obtain permission to use the vaccine inside the country and abroad in January next year, and the vaccine will also be submitted for retraining to the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2021.

The contract for supplies to the territory of Ukraine has been signed with Lekhim JSC, which, according to official confirmations from Sinovac Biotech, is the only authorized representative of the vaccine manufacturer in Ukraine.

Under the terms of the contract, the first batch of 700,000 doses will be delivered to Ukraine within 30 days after official registration in China, or by one of the competent authorities of the United States, Great Britain, the Swiss Confederation, Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel, India, Mexico, Brazil, or under a centralized procedure by the competent authority of the European Union.

On January 6, some 13 countries of the European Union called on the European Commission to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, including Ukraine.