The United States Agency for International Development USAID will provide Ukraine with special refrigerators necessary for transporting and storing the Pfizer vaccine, the press service of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said.
“To support Ukraine’s national response, USAID is helping prepare for Pfizer and other approved vaccines by providing direct support for ultra-cold chain storage/transportation and supporting public communications efforts to provide accurate information about vaccines,” the message reads.
As reported, Ukraine signed an agreement with the American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer for the supply of 10 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19, which was agreed in February by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and chief executive officer of Pfizer Albert Bourla.
Vaccines against COVID-19 from four companies will arrive in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
“We have agreed to supply vaccines to Ukraine from Pfizer, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Novavax companies. The first stage of vaccination will begin this month. Our doctors, the military and the National Guard will be the first to receive the vaccine,” Zelensky said at the opening of the “Ukraine 30. Coronavirus: Challenges and Responses” Forum on Monday.
At the same time, the president said that having already resolved the issue of vaccine supplies to the country, Ukraine faced a new problem, namely “lack of faith in vaccination, refusal to vaccinate by a significant part of the population.”
“This is a new but very serious issue that we all need to address. Personally I am ready, like most world leaders, to show that vaccination is important, safe and necessary,” the president said.
The president said that Ukraine will buy only safe vaccines from world manufacturers.
“There is no official information that the Russian vaccine has a 91% effect, neither from WHO nor from world experts. The head of WHO said today that there are several key points to pay attention to, one of them – fakes. Citizens of Ukraine are people and definitely not rabbits. We have no right to experiment on them,” Zelensky said.
“Today I will talk to Pfizer. We should get one million vaccines in February. In addition, there are agreements with the Chinese manufacturer. There are agreements with the U.K. and the United States,” he added.
The president said that Ukraine must purchase vaccines and provide an opportunity for all Ukrainians to be vaccinated. “As a state, we will lift the bans on people who are vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19,” Zelensky said.
The head of state also said that Ukraine has developed a vaccination roadmap, which provides for proper and equal access for all citizens of Ukraine.
“Its main task is to cover at least half of the population of Ukraine during 2021 and early 2022,” the president said.
The pharmaceutical company Pfizer will soon provide documents for registration of a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Health, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Viktor Liashko said during a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday.
“Yesterday we had a telephone conversation with Pfizer headquarters. We were assured that all documents for vaccine registration in Ukraine will be submitted in the near future. The vaccine will be used only after registration,” he said.
Liashko recalled that vaccination in Ukraine would be free and voluntary.
“Vaccinations will be carried out by mobile teams, consisting of two nurses, a doctor, a registrar and a driver. They will provide organized professional teams [medical institutions, social institutions, and military units] with vaccinations at the first stage […] From February 5, we start medical trainings for doctors and regional coordinators to ensure logistical and coordination cooperation between the national, regional and vaccination rooms,” the deputy minister said.
At the same time, he said that the country had the necessary capacities for storing vaccines.
“We have capacities for storing vaccines with a temperature regime of minus 80 degrees Celsius and a temperature regime of plus 2 degrees Celsius. As for the latter, the state-owned enterprise Ukrvaktsyna can store about 30 million doses of vaccines. There are 25 warehouses at the regional level where it is possible to store the three-month need for vaccine. In addition, there are 490 district storage points and refrigeration equipment at vaccination points. We will closely monitor that the cold chain is observed,” Liashko said.
“At the same time, we have submitted an application to the European Investment Bank and we want to update all the refrigeration equipment in the vaccination rooms – even the one used for routine immunization,” he said.
Liashko said that citizens of Ukraine who are in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will also be provided with access to free and voluntary vaccination at vaccination points, which will be located in the territory controlled by Ukraine.