In Ukraine, on February 24, vaccination of the population began. Kyiv received the first batch of the long-awaited vaccine.
Currently, coronavirus vaccines of two suppliers have been certified in Ukraine. These are Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca. According to the country's Minister of Health, Maxim Stepanov, this is a completely logical step. During the talk show "Right for Power" on the 1 + 1 TV channel on February 25, he expressed confidence that even the most advanced countries cannot afford to count on one vaccine. It is currently not possible to rely on only one supplier. The minister said that "even in Israel there was Pfizer and Moderna - the two vaccines they contracted [...] The capacities of no one vaccine manufacturer will not be enough for everyone. Now you see what is happening."
The first lots of the vaccine were to come from the American company Pfizer. However, the delivery time was missed. The lack of production capacity of the company was named as the reason. However, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine remains confident that the promised volumes of the drug will be delivered later.
Regarding the disruptions in the delivery of the vaccine, Stepanov said that “Pfizer is disrupting supplies, AstraZeneca is disrupting supplies. They all delay their deliveries. Because there is not enough capacity, there has never been such an unprecedented vaccination in the world ”.
In the meantime, the first wave of vaccination is underway in Ukraine. The first drug is a received batch of 500,000 doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine.
The party arrived on February 23 at Boryspil airport from India via Turkey. And the very next day the first Ukrainian was vaccinated. It was a resident of the Cherkasy region, resuscitator Evgeny Gorenko.
The chief sanitary doctor of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko said that from February 25, citizens began to receive vaccinations in all regions of the country.
Among the first, doctors working with COVID-19 patients and military personel participating in the Operation of the Joint Forces will receive free vaccinations. By the end of autumn, it is planned to vaccinate all medical workers, pensioners, teachers and security officials.
Currently, according to opinion polls, the number of citizens who are ready to undergo free vaccination is growing and is up to 65% of the population. For comparison, in December this figure was slightly above 40%. For the formation of herd immunity, the proportion of those vaccinated must be at least 60% of the population. The country's leadership expects to reach such an indicator in 2023.
In total, Ukraine expects to receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and at least 2.2 million doses of vaccine from the manufacturer AstraZeneca. Novavax is expected to start shipping the drug in summer. Its volume should be the largest and amount to 15 million doses. This vaccine is currently not certified in the country. Another 1.9 million doses were promised by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech. The first batch of 700 thousand units should arrive in April.
If all the planned deliveries take place, this will make it possible to vaccinate almost half of the Ukrainian population.
The Ukrainian leadership acted wisely by entering into agreements with four vaccine suppliers at once. Because collisions can happen to everyone. And this was demonstrated by the American company Pfizer.
An American company had a production failure. And our country was unable to receive the promised batch of the drug. Even if not so big. But important.
The launch of mass vaccinations with the American vaccine could also be an important political moment and demonstrate the United States' commitment to its full support for Ukraine.
But it happened as it happened. It remains to be hoped that Pfizer will resume production as soon as possible. And wait for the promised deliveries.