The supply of the vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the contract for which Ukraine has signed with the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, will start immediately after the vaccine registration, approximately at the end of January, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said.
"When the vaccine will be supplied? As soon as possible. People will receive it only after official registration. Now almost all vaccines are going through the stage of legal legalization in their native jurisdictions. But vaccines are being contracted already at this stage, because there is a large queue and high hopes for their effectiveness. Registration is already possible at the beginning of January, either in the country of origin, or in one of the countries of Europe or in the United States. Registration should leave no doubt. This is another fact. Therefore, it is quite possible to get the vaccine already this winter. As soon as possible," Zelensky wrote on his Telegram channel on Thursday.
He wrote that Sinovac Biotech is an experienced company that annually produces hundreds of millions of doses of various vaccines, the quality of which is recognized throughout the world.
"The big plus of this vaccine is that its development was not a politicized task. It is not used to promote someone's geopolitical ambitions. This is another fact. It's just a reliable vaccine for life, not political propaganda for profit," Zelensky wrote.
As for the signing of the contract before the registration of the vaccine, it is a common practice, the president said in a message.
"This is done by all countries of the world and with all vaccines: they contract the volume when it is clear that there will be a reliable drug, and supplies and vaccinations start immediately after the completion of official procedures. In order not to waste precious time," he said.
In total, Ukraine will receive 1.9 million doses of vaccine from Sinovac, as well as 8 million doses through the global COVAX mechanism. The state continues to work to increase supplies through COVAX to 16 million doses, and also continues to negotiate with all other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers whose products are recognized by the world as effective and safe.
The President of Ukraine said that this is a difficult task, since the world is in a state of "extreme outburst of national egoism."
"First of all our own, others later. We understand this perfectly. Look: all states are very tough fighting exclusively for themselves and their interests. Almost without confirming by actions that sweet rhetoric about 'joint fulfillment of global tasks', which was a lot in the previous decades. Therefore, it is not surprising that the richest were the first in the global vaccine queue in the world," he said.
"But our state constantly and professionally conducts all the necessary negotiation work. This is also another fact. Therefore, we will definitely provide our people with vaccines as soon as possible, despite the often not very fair interstate competition. And we will be truly grateful to those who helped in this difficult time," Zelensky said.
At the same time, for vaccination to work nationwide, it must be a truly massive process. In this regard, Zelensky called on government officials at all levels, as well as leaders of public opinion, to think about how to convince the vast majority of Ukrainians to use the vaccine. The state, for its part, will ensure the availability of free and safe vaccines for people.
"But the defenses of the idea of vaccination, arguments in favor of a scientific outlook on life and health issues are what we must do together. Central government, local leaders, as well as all Ukrainians who have an influence on public opinion, the mood of society or just the conviction of the family. And this is another fact. Or political speculation, or the effective promotion of vaccination as an idea of protecting the country from new types of infections. The more successful we are all together in this in 2021, the sooner we can forget about such a threat as COVID- 19," the president said.