Ukraine said Wednesday it agreed to purchase nearly two million doses of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac coronavirus jab, the post-Soviet country's first commercial contract to purchase a vaccine.
Kiev is due to receive its first batch of 700,000 doses within one month after the vaccine is registered either in China or elsewhere, according to a presidency statement.
Sinovac Biotech, one of China's leading vaccine producers, developed CoronaVac which underwent trials in Brazil, China, Turkey and Indonesia.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement that authorities would soon roll out "a large-scale" vaccination program.
The deal provides for a total of 1,913,316 doses at 504 hryvnia ($18) per dose, which the presidency said would be given free of charge starting with healthcare workers and the most vulnerable.
It added that the authorities were continuing negotiations with other vaccine producers without naming them.
The health ministry said earlier this month it had agreed a delivery of 8 million vaccine doses via Covax, a World Health Organisation mechanism for global vaccine distribution.
The WHO and partners expect to begin Covax delivers in 2021.
Some pro-Moscow politicians in ex-Soviet Ukraine have lobbied for the introduction of the Russian-developed Sputnik V jab.
But health officials in Kiev have so far refused noting that the Sputnik V was registered before completing large-scale trials.
With the population of 42 million, Ukraine has officially recorded just over one million virus infections and 18,324 Covid-19 deaths.
The chances that Donald Trump will remain a free man after today is almost zero, regardless of any evidence of wrong-doing. Whatever...