Next week, the Government is to approve the National Plan for the Introduction of the COVID-19 Vaccine, developed by the Ministry of Health.
This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada during A Question Time for the Government on December 18.
The Prime Minister noted that the work on the preparation of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 began in September 2020. According to him, a working expert group was gathered on the basis of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, which comprised Ukrainian doctors and experts, representatives of the WHO Bureau in Ukraine, UNICEF, etc.
"The essential goal of the vaccination plan by the end of 2021 is to cover 50% of the population of Ukraine - almost 21 million people - with vaccination against COVID-19. Given the fact that the purchase of vaccines can not be done immediately for all citizens, there is a need to determine the priority groups that should receive vaccines first," said Denys Shmyhal.
According to the Head of Government, based on the recommendations of the WHO, the Preliminary Framework Program on Fair Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine and other expert groups, a number of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination have been identified:
• Healthcare workers, including those directly involved in the response to the COVID-19 epidemic;
• Soldiers participating in joint forces operation;
• Social sphere employees, including social workers;
• Persons living in long-term care and support facilities and staff of such facilities;
• Employees of critical state security structures, including the SES, the National Police, the National Guard, servicemen of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
• Teachers and other education workers;
• Elderly people (60 years and older) who are at risk.
The Prime Minister also noted that among the relevant groups there is also a phased deployment of vaccination depending on the number of vaccines received.
Denys Shmyhal emphasized, vaccination is planned to be carried out on the basis of existing vaccination offices. According to the relevant Ministry, as of December 2020, there are more than 11,000 of them in Ukraine.
"For vaccinations there are planned setting up mobile teams, as well as a network of family doctors, through whom vaccinations will also take place," the Prime Minister said.
The Head of Government emphasized that the first vaccines are expected in February. To this end, the Government is negotiating in two areas - directly with vaccine manufacturers and with the leadership of the countries where such vaccines will be produced or already contracted.
"The first batch of 8 million vaccines for 4 million Ukrainians is expected in March under the COVAX initiative. Funds for the purchase of vaccines are included in the state budget, additional negotiations are underway on funding with Ukraine's international partners," said Denys Shmyhal.
According to the Prime Minister, next year the State Budget envisages the creation of a special fund, the resource of which will be used to finance vaccination against COVID-19 and increase the salaries of doctors.