Ukraine wants to develop own vaccines / REUTERS

The Ukrainian Health Ministry proposes a laboratory should be created as part of the Lev Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases so that Ukraine could start developing its own vaccines.

Ukrainian Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko announced this during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and attended by heads of leading scientific institutions and institutes, the Ukrainian government's portal said.

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The prime minister said that the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines globally had demonstrated the need for Ukraine to create its own laboratory.

"Nowadays, the whole world is queuing up for a vaccine, and it becomes obvious that Ukraine needs to have its own base for the development of vaccines. This is a strategic issue, since the construction of a modern facility under international standards will allow us to restore scientific potential and develop drugs to be protected against various diseases," Shmyhal said.

Liashko, in turn, said that the Health Ministry was considering the creation of a laboratory on the basis of the Lev Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases.

"Simultaneously, there is a plan to create an open scientific space at the Institute, which will bring all scientists together for conducting research," Liashko said.

According to him, such an open cluster will give Ukraine an impetus to restore the production of immunologic agents, in particular for the treatment of cancer.

Following the meeting, PM Shmyhal instructed the respective agencies to work within two weeks on options regarding infrastructure and financing to create an advanced laboratory in Ukraine.

Ukrainian vaccine against coronavirus: Background

  • On October 20, 2020, findings of preclinical research on a potential COVID-19 vaccine development were presented to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • On October 26, 2020, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov announced that the Ukrainian vaccine against COVID-19 would be developed within about a year if all trials were successful.
  • On April 19, 2021, Zelensky said he backed the creation of a laboratory for the development of vaccines and drugs in Ukraine. According to him, Ukraine urgently needs to have a modern laboratory for the development of vaccines and drugs as soon as possible. The 2021 budget foresees UAH 100 million, or US$3.56 million, for this project. The Health Ministry is working on ways to complete this task.
  • On the same day, Stepanov said that Ukraine would face negative consequences if it did not launch its own vaccine production in the next two to three years.