Vaccinations finally got under way in Ukraine, with media reporting that the ex-Soviet state became the 95th country to launch its campaign. The country has registered 1.34 million infections and nearly 26,000 dead.
In the first three days of the campaign, 3,051 people were vaccinated – the first shipment of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India arrived last week. Ukraine is due to receive 2.2 to 3.7 million doses of the vaccine and is also expecting a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the world-wide COVAX intended to help lower-income countries.
Ukraine also saw a new rise in the number of infections – 8,000 registered on 26th February. Western Ukraine remains the hardest-hit region, with “red zones” declared in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions. Seven other regions, most in western Ukraine, risk being moved from the orange to the red category.
Restrictions in red zones include the closure of restaurants, entertainment sites, cinemas, theatres, shopping centres, sports facilities and markets. Closures may also apply to middle schools, but not kindergartens or primary schools. Food stores, pharmacies and veterinary surgeries remain open.