Ukraine to receive close to half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine under COVAX this week
Kyiv, 18 May 2021 - Today, UNICEF delivered to Ukraine a new batch of 122,850 doses of Comirnaty vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech against COVID-19 as part of the global COVAX Facility. By the end of the week, overall UNICEF will deliver 473,850 doses of the vaccine, as well as a diluent for injection.
The new batch of vaccines is expected to be used for the protection of education workers from COVID-19.
The COVAX initiative is an example of the unprecedented solidarity of the international community, aimed at ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
Within the COVAX, UNICEF and WHO are working to deliver more vaccines for the people of Ukraine in collaboration with the governments of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and other international donors. In total, by the end of 2021, Ukraine is to receive free vaccines for vaccination of 8 million people from COVID as part of the initiative.
UNICEF, on behalf of the COVAX, procures and supplies COVID-19 vaccines that meet WHO’s established safety and efficacy criteria.
“The arrival of another COVAX batch is another confirmation of the global adherence to equity and accessibility in vaccines sharing amidst pandemic. This collaboration format is critically important. The implementation of the international humanitarian initiatives to tackle COVID-19 reassures us in the capacity of the countries to unite in the face of global threats,” said Maksym Stepatov, Minister of Health Сare in Ukraine.
“UNICEF is grateful to all partners and international donors who support COVAX and COVID-19 vaccination in Ukraine. As more vaccines are being delivered, we encourage everyone to get their vaccination as soon as you have the opportunity. It is very important that teachers can now get their protection against this dangerous infection. The importance of education for the well-being of every child cannot be overstated. Safety for teachers is a key factor in ensuring the quality and continuity of learning,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
Dr Jarno Habicht, the WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine, said: “Additional COVID-19 vaccines are delivered to Ukraine via COVAX facility now, which means that we can provide access to vaccines and reach more people with focus on priority groups. In the past months we have seen more Ukrainians interested to be vaccinated against COVID and this is an encouraging trend. COVID-19 vaccination is a vital tool to help us end the pandemic, so we can finally be one step closer to each other again, but no-one is safe until everyone is safe”.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require special conditions for transportation and storage at temperatures ranging from -60° C to -80° C.
In-country storage and logistics of this and the initial shipments of the Pfizer vaccines from Covax, in accordance with the correct cold chain requirements, are provided by
Earlier this year, upon request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, UNICEF conducted nationwide cold chain training sessions on COVID-19 vaccines for specialists responsible for the logistics and storage of vaccines from all regions.
Earlier, under COVAX, Ukraine received 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and 367,200 doses of AstraZeneca-SKBio vaccines, manufactured by SK Bioscience, South Korea, as well as about 140,000 syringes for mixing up the vaccine with diluent and injections and over 1,300 safety boxes for their disposal, under COVAX.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organisations, vaccine manufacturers, governments of US, UK, European Union, World Bank, and others.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.