UNICEF will deliver 473,850 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to Ukraine by the end of next week as part of the COVAX initiative.
According to a UNICEF press release, the first 117,000 doses of this shipment arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday.
Earlier, within the framework of COVAX, 590,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 1.0728 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered to Ukraine.
The COVAX Initiative aims to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world. Ukraine receives all vaccines within the framework of COVAX free of charge.
On behalf of COVAX, UNICEF purchases and supplies only those COVID-19 vaccines that meet WHO’s safety and efficacy criteria.
COVAX is coordinated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). UNICEF works with manufacturers and procurement and logistics partners for COVID-19 vaccines.
Within the framework of COVAX, by the end of 2021, Ukraine should receive enough vaccines from various manufacturers to protect up to 20% of the population from COVID.
The British purchasing agency Crown Agents delivered the first 117,000 doses out of 167,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 to Ukraine from Belgium on Wednesday.
Crown Agents told Interfax-Ukraine that the second batch of vaccine (50,000 doses) is expected on Thursday.
According to head of Crown Agents in Ukraine Tetiana Korotchenko, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was transported in compliance with all storage rules under the required temperature conditions.
In February, Crown Agents delivered 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to Ukraine, developed by AstraZeneca in cooperation with the University of Oxford.
The next delivery of the Pfizer vaccine may take place after May 17, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has said.
“We expect to receive Pfizer vaccines under the COVAX initiative and direct contract in the near future, tentatively from May 17,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Health is technically ready to maximize the daily vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, but this requires “more vaccines.”
“You know that now vaccines have been shipped that are in debt to us under the already signed contracts. In the last ten days alone, 1 million doses have arrived. Now the supply volumes of vaccines should increase,” he said.
Stepanov also said that in the near future Ukraine expects to receive vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
“As soon as the supply of vaccines increases, we will immediately increase the number of people who will be vaccinated. We can vaccinate 5-6 million people a month in a quiet mode. The main thing is that there are vaccines and those who want to be vaccinated,” Stepanov said.
He also noted that the Ministry of Health has “healthy optimism” regarding the prevention of a new outbreak of COVID-19 as a result of the Easter holidays.
“I am grateful to the Ukrainians for listening to the recommendations and that there were no mass visits to churches during the Easter holidays. The number of people who attended churches, according to the National Police, was 8 times less than it was before the epidemic – 793,000 people versus 7 million,” he said.
Ukraine has signed a contract with U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer to supply an additional 10 million doses against coronavirus disease, Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has told President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
“After lengthy and difficult negotiations with Pfizer, we have reached an agreement on the supply of an additional 10 million doses. We signed the contract this night. That is, in total, we will receive 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine during this calendar year,” Stepanov said.
The press service of the head of state said that according to the agreements, Ukraine will receive the first 500,000 doses under this contract in May-June 2021, 4.5 million doses in the third quarter (July-September), and the remaining 15 million doses in the fourth quarter of this year.
The conclusion of the agreement was made possible thanks to Zelensky’s direct communication with Pfizer CEO Albert Burla. The president personally coordinated the process of negotiations on the supply of the drug to Ukraine, because today the demand for vaccines in the world significantly exceeds production. Therefore, the Ukrainian government used various tools to provide the country with a high-quality vaccine. In particular, the strategic communications of the President and the constant operational communications of the Ministry of Health made it possible to sign a contract and receive a high-quality vaccine in Ukraine in significant volumes.
Zelensky thanked the CEO of Pfizer for helping Ukraine during the difficult times of the pandemic and noted the efforts of the representatives of Ukraine who accompanied the signing of the contract.
“This is a truly remarkable result. Now the task of the state is to ensure vaccination of the maximum number of citizens. It is also necessary to more actively explain to people the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, because this is the only way to overcome the pandemic, return to normal life and forget about quarantines forever,” the president said.
Vaccination against COVID-19 with the vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech (trade name Comirnaty) will begin from Kyiv region on April 18, its starts throughout Ukraine on April 19, said chief sanitary doctor, Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Liashko.
“This vaccine will first of all be used to vaccinate personnel and residents of nursing homes, then employees of the State Emergency Service and border guards,” he told Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.
Liashko explained that the vaccines will be distributed in 1,170 doses in each of the regions and the city of Kyiv. Together with them, dilution bank, syringes and boxes for the safe disposal of medical waste will be delivered.
The first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the amount of 117,000 doses has arrived in Ukraine on Friday as part of the global COVAX initiative, according to a COVAX press release.
According to the report, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used primarily to vaccinate personnel and residents of nursing homes, employees of the State Emergency Service and border guards