Ukraine to receive 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccines
The Health Ministry announced on April 6 on Facebook that it had signed an agreement with Pfizer for the purchase of 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccine. President Zelensky thanked Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla by Twitter for making the vaccine available. The vaccine will be provided by the end of 2021.
The U.S. embassy in Kyiv also announced on Facebook on Apr. 6 that through USAID, the American government would be “providing direct support for ultra-cold chain storage / transportation” as well as helping with delivering the Ukrainian government’s messaging about vaccination.
Currently in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching heights that swamp the country’s healthcare system. On April 6, Health Minister Maxim Stepanov declared that 58% of the hospital beds with oxygen are occupied, and that the 67,000 beds available are the maximum. “There is nowhere to increase further,” he said.
The Health Ministry reported on Facebook on April 7 that it had registered 15,415 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. A new high of 481 deaths caused by the disease were recorded.
James Hydzik: The Pfizer vaccine news is certainly a bright moment for a government that has been roundly criticized for its handling of practically every aspect of the vaccine procurement and roll out thus far. Furthermore, the value of the USAID assistance with logistics and the roll-out cannot be underestimated. For example, the Wikipedia article on Healthcare in Ukraine points to the failure to keep vaccines properly refrigerated as one of the problems with vaccination in Ukraine. Ensuring that as much of the supply chain as possible is to be kept tightly controlled will be important for convincing a highly skeptical populace that the vaccine and conditions are acceptable.