REUTERS

Ukrainian diplomatic corps would be making every effort to make sure Ukraine receives the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, says Mykhailo Radutsky, MP with the ruling Servant of the People parliamentary faction, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance.

"According to the agreement signed with COVAX [the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility], Ukraine should receive 8 million doses. This is approximately 4 million vaccinated people in the first wave – these are those who are prioritized by government. These are healthcare workers, military, employees of the State Emergency Service, social workers, as well as the elderly accommodated in nursing homes," he told Ukraine 24 TV channel.

In parallel, Radutsky added Ukraine was negotiating with manufacturers to get vaccines at commercial prices beyond the COVAX quota.

"The vaccine is either free or at a low price under COVAX. While increasing their production capacity, manufacturers will sell vaccines beyond COVAX. For these purposes, the government is creating a special fund for the purchase of vaccines next year, so the vaccine will also be purchased from this fund," the MP said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has instructed the diplomatic corps "to lobby so that we occupy the highest step in a queue for the vaccine."

Read alsoUkraine negotiating with all vaccine producers, except Russia – PM Shmyhal"Unfortunately, today we are not in the top ten under COVAX to negotiate with manufacturers for the purchase of vaccines beyond the quota," Radutsky added.

Vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine

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.

On December 6, Chairman of the Commission on Biosafety and Biological Protection under the Council of National Security and Defense, Academician Serhiy Komisarenko said mass vaccination could be launched in Ukraine no earlier than the middle of 2021.

On December 12, Ukrainian Deputy Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko said COVAX had officially approved over 8 million doses of free COVID-19 vaccine for Ukraine.

On December 17, Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said Ukraine expects to get the first doses of vaccines approved by COVAX in March 2021.