Ukraine is working to increase the supply of a COVID-19 vaccine via the COVAX scheme to 16 million doses and is continuing negotiations with all vaccine manufacturers, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said on Facebook.
"We are also working to increase supplies via COVAX to 16 million doses. But we are continuing negotiations with all other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, whose products are recognized by the world as effective and safe," he said, recalling that Ukraine is now guaranteed to receive eight million doses.
In addition, Zelensky recalled that the Ukrainian Health Ministry had signed a contract for the direct supply of the vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech.
"It is an experienced company. It produces hundreds of millions of doses of different vaccines every year, and their quality is recognized worldwide. It is a fact, a simple, reliable, and non-speculative fact," Zelensky said.
The great advantage of this vaccine, he said, is that its development was not politicized, and it is not used to promote someone's geopolitical ambitions.
"When will the vaccine come? It will come as soon as possible. People will get it only after its official registration. Now almost all vaccines are undergoing legalization in their native jurisdictions. But vaccines are being contracted at this stage - because there is a long queue and there are high hopes for their effectiveness. Registration is possible already in early January, either in the country of origin, in a European country, or in the United States. Registration should not cause any doubt. This is another fact. So, it is absolutely possible to get the vaccine this winter," Zelensky said.
At the same time, he stressed that getting the vaccine is not yet the main task. According to him, vaccination in the country will be effective if many people get vaccinated.
Zelensky stressed that already now government officials at all levels, including cities and communities, as well as public opinion leaders, should think about how to convince the vast majority of Ukrainians to use the vaccine. The state, for its part, will provide the availability of free and truly safe vaccines, he said.