The arrival of the first COVID vaccine to be administered in Ukraine is imminent, according to officials.
The president’s office said the first batch of 500,000 doses of the Indian-made Astra Zeneca vaccine was “already on the plane” but logistical issues meant the shipment was not a direct one. And an official said an agreement had been clinched with India’s Serum Institute to receive a new shipment every 10 days.
Health Minister Maxim Stepanov said agreement had been reached to secure a total of 15 million doses of the Indian-made NovaVax vaccine from July.
Ukraine has recorded more than 1.3 million infections since the outbreak of the pandemic and more than 25,000 deaths.
Regions of western Ukraine have been hard hit by COVID and President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said an influx of foreign tourists to winter resorts in the Carpathian mountains was at least partly to blame.
Ukraine has already agreed to buy some vaccines from China and expects to get at least 8 million doses under the global COVAX program for poorer countries.
Stepanov said last week Kyiv’s coronavirus vaccine purchases were being hampered by “dirty information attacks” that have triggered a corruption investigation against his ministry.
The anti-corruption agency NABU launched an inquiry this month into the procurement of China’s Sinovac vaccines through an intermediary.