Health Ministry expects AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive next week, Pfizer is still delayed – Liashko
The Ministry of Health expects next week to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Ukraine from AstraZeneca, which is produced at the facilities of the Indian company Serum Institute; Pfizer's vaccine is still delayed due to delays in Pfizer's COVAX contracts, Chief Sanitary Doctor, Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Liashko said.
"On Monday-Tuesday, the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive. We are in constant negotiations with Pfizer as part of the COVAX mechanism," he told reporters on Saturday.
Liashko stressed that the delay in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine under the COVAX mechanism is due to a change in the pharmaceutical company's approach to vaccine registration.
"Ukraine is among 17 priority countries where the COVAX mechanism supplies the vaccine. None of them has yet received the Pfizer vaccine for the same technical reason - the vaccine needs to be registered in the country. We thought that local Pfizer offices could do this. It was expected that the registration had take place last Thursday, but the Pfizer headquarters changed their approach - they have to settle certain bureaucratic approaches: sign an agreement between Pfizer and COVAX and Ukraine and Pfizer," he said.
Liashko recalled that within the framework of COVAX, Ukraine will receive 8 million doses, of which 117,000 doses from Pfizer. In addition, Ukraine may ask to increase the amount of Pfizer vaccine.
"Yesterday, the operational headquarters of the Ministry of Health made such an application. Today, I've signed such an application. We can simultaneously receive at least 600,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in Ukraine," he said.
According to Liashko, Ukraine will also receive 2.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under COVAX, this amount may be increased to 3.7 million doses by the end of the second quarter.
"We expect the COVAX AstraZeneca vaccine supplies to begin in late February/early March," he said.
At the same time, Liashko stressed that the logistics of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 makes it possible to start vaccination both in the case of supplies of the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He noted that within the framework of COVAX, the AstraZeneca vaccine produced at facilities in South Korea will be delivered to Ukraine.