REUTERS

All Ukrainian nationals wishing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will have access to the vaccine and be able to receive their jabs at the expense of the state.

That's according to Maksym Stepanov, the country's Minister of Health, who spoke on the air of Channel 24.

The minister specified that certain stages of vaccination will be laid down for various groups of the population.

"We intend to complete vaccinations by early next year – in the first quarter of 2022," he explained.

At the same time, Stepanov added that it depends on the number of vaccine doses that will be supplied to Ukraine.

"Believe me, no one will hesitate. Polls show 50-55% of Ukrainians are ready to be vaccinated," the minister said.

Read alsoUkraine may get m-RNA vaccine against COVID-19 soon – health ministryAccording to the minister, there is no vaccination plan for the period after March 2022. The official urged the press and citizens to learn about the updates on the issue precisely from the Ministry of Health, which is the official information source.

COVID-19 vaccines administered, per country

  • China 9,000,000
  • USA 8,017, 552
  • United Kingdom 2,000,000
  • Israel 1,817, 000
  • United Arab Emirates 1,086, 568
  • Russia 800,000
  • Italy 627, 946
  • Germany 532, 878
  • Canada 314, 492
  • Spain 277, 976

Speaking about the commercial market, the health chief explained that as soon as there is an opportunity to officially import the vaccine into the territory of Ukraine, the ministry will facilitate the process.

"The Ministry of Health does not interfere in the market. [It acts] Exclusively as a regulator of vaccines' access to the Ukrainian market: so that they are registered and safe for use," he added.

Read alsoUkraine may get m-RNA vaccine against COVID-19 soon – health ministryVaccines 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.

Read alsoIsrael denies rumors of vaccine smuggling into UkraineOn 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.