Ukrainians may be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late 2021 / REUTERS

Chairman of the Commission for Biosafety and Biosecurity at the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Serhiy Komisarenko says Ukrainians may be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021.

"By the end of the coming year, I think we will have already completed the vaccination of the entire population of Ukraine – those who are interested in it. We need to conduct a proper campaign that vaccines are effective and that they are necessary for people to stay healthy. Unfortunately, we still have people who are covered by anti-vaccine propaganda and do not want to get vaccinated. It is necessary that the maximum number of people be vaccinated," he told Ukraine 24 TV channel.

Read alsoDaily COVID-19 spike in Kyiv hits new high with almost 1,800 cases on Dec 1Komisarenko also answered a question whether the state will purchase vaccines or whether private clinics will do it in advance.

"I know that some private pharmaceutical companies are negotiating, in particular with China, on the purchase of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. How effective it is – the Chinese say it is effective, but its clinical trials have not yet been completed. As for Western vaccines, most of all I like Moderna, in comparison with other vaccines, for example, with Pfizer – they are almost similar, but Pfizer requires that vaccines be stored at a very low temperature, -80°C…- 70°C. There is no mass infrastructure in Ukraine yet for maintaining such temperature during storage. Moderna allows storage at -20°C, and even our retail chains have such capabilities," the official said.

Coronavirus vaccine: Recent developments

  • U.S.-based pharma giant Pfizer, which jointly with Germany's BionTech is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus, updated the public on a higher rate of vaccine effectiveness.
  • A primary efficacy analysis demonstrates BNT162b2 to be 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose; 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were evaluated, with 162 observed in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group, the companies said in a press release.
  • The efficacy of the vaccine was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics; the observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%.
  • The safety data milestone required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) has been achieved.
  • 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.