Business news from Ukraine

Illegal import of vaccine against COVID-19 in significant volumes is hardly possible – expert

6 January , 2021  

Illegal import of vaccine against COVID-19 in significant volumes is hardly possible due to strict control over its circulation, senior partner of ABSC Krzysztof Siedlecki believes.

“The demand for the vaccine is huge, the requirements for its logistics are very high. I have very great doubts about the possibility of smuggling the vaccine into Ukraine, although it cannot be ruled out,” he told Interfax-Ukraine, commenting on the statement of businessman Mykhailo Brodsky that a number of Ukrainian government officials, in particular some people’s deputies and top officials, were secretly vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine illegally imported to Ukraine from Israel.

He noted that the COVID-19 vaccine is not currently in free circulation.

“This is not a product that you can just call and order from Pfizer. It doesn’t work that way. It’s hard to even imagine that some distributor can illegally import the vaccine, because this vaccine requires special transportation conditions, a very low temperature – 70 degrees below zero, because at higher temperatures the vaccine is stored for only a few days. The possibility of smuggling this vaccine under such conditions is very small,” he said.

The expert stressed that due to the high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, the distribution of these vaccines around the world is carried out under the strict control of state authorities. At the same time, he admitted that “the doctor can take several doses of the vaccine uncontrollably, but their validity is limited: if they are in the refrigerator, then the shelf life is several days.”

“I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not easy. If we were talking about several hundred doses, then there would be a resonance. I don’t believe that Pfizer would have allowed such a leak,” he said.