Therapy Areas: Vaccines
Ukraine receives first batch of 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine from India
23 February 2021 -

Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday that Ukraine received its first batch of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on 23 February 2021, allowing it to launch its delayed vaccine roll-out, starting with front-line medical workers and soldiers.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, tweeted: "We will start vaccination ASAP. We need to fight COVID together."

Ukraine's Health Minister, Maksym Stepanov, stated on Facebook: "Now we are urgently clearing the cargo through customs and the vaccine will immediately go to the regions."

Reportedly, Ukraine has lagged behind its neighbours in securing vaccines for its 41 million people, asking EU member states for help while refusing to buy the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia.

Ukraine had planned to launch mass vaccinations in mid-February 2021 through the global COVAX programme for poorer countries but the government said the roll-out was postponed due to a delay in delivery.

The current AstraZeneca doses were produced by the Serum Institute of India, and Ukraine approved the vaccine this week.

The health ministry said it had agreed to buy a total of 17 million doses of Indian-made vaccines, including 15 million doses of the Novavax shot.

So far, Ukraine has registered over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 25,309 deaths.