The company promised to provide more specific information about the flight and the exact time of arrival of the first batch.
At the end of December 2020, Ukraine paid an advance in the amount of UAH 964.3 million for the forthcoming supply of 1.9 million doses of CoronaVac under an agreement between the Medical Procurement State Enterprise and the private company Lekhim.
At the same time, the terms of the contract stipulated the following: Lekhim received a 100% advance payment with the possibility of its full refund in case of violation of the delivery schedule.
The entire number of purchased vaccine doses (that is, 1.9 million doses) should be delivered to Ukraine by May 31. The first batch of vaccines, which is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, is expected to amount to 700,000 doses.
At the same time, back in January, the head of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Maksym Stepanov, announced that the country would receive the first batch of CoronaVac in February. Lekhim said that all the same, it was necessary to wait for March.
In early March, the Ministry of Health already spoke specifically about the upcoming sanctions against Lekhim for delays in the delivery of the Chinese vaccine.
"They definitely do not comply with the stated deadlines. There will be fines that are specified in the contract," said Deputy Minister of Health Ihor Ivashchenko.
At the same time, Lekhim sounded slightly different delivery dates – namely, March 15th.
What sanctions were envisaged? It was announced that the Cabinet of Ministers has the right to fine Lekhim by 0.1% of the value of the cargo for each day of delay.
What is known about the vaccine itself?
Its developer is the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, which has been operating since 1999. It annually produces from 300 to 500 million doses of vaccines, which are approved in 34 countries around the world. The company has developed and marketed drugs against hepatitis A and B, influenza viruses, including avian, and mumps.
The CoronaVac vaccine is inactivated, that is, the drug contains "killed" (non-viable) virus particles. They provide the immune system with enough information to make the necessary protective cells.
The advantage of CoronaVac lies in the rather unpretentious conditions of its transportation and storage. The vaccine is produced in a syringe (one syringe = one dose) and is stored at a temperature of +2 to +8 degrees Celsius, that is, in standard refrigeration conditions.
When vaccinated with CoronaVac, two doses are needed to develop immunity, like many other coronavirus drugs.
In the initially announced plans of the Ukrainian authorities - to use this drug to protect, first of all, those citizens who have a critical risk of infection, and those who perform important functions in the fight against the pandemic.
It is expected that the price of one dose of the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac for Ukrainians will be 18 USD.
In January, the head of the Ministry of Health, Maxim Stepanov, sounded that the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine was lower than indicated in the purchase agreement. And that, in case of non-compliance with the requirements, the company will have to return the money to Ukraine.
In particular, it was said that the effectiveness of the vaccine is only 50.38%, while in the contract for the purchase of doses, which was concluded between the company and the Ministry of Health, it is noted that the effectiveness of the vaccine should be at least 70%.
The minister said that Ukraine will refuse to supply this vaccine if at the time of delivery its effectiveness is less than 70%.
Interfax-Ukraine writes that Lekhim announced in early March that the final efficiency of CoronaVac was 83.5%. And this, as the company specified, is proved by the results of the third phase of clinical trials in Turkey, in which more than 10 thousand people took part.
At the same time, the company stressed that the vaccine prevented severe forms of the disease and hospitalization in 100% of cases.
The situation is now
According to The Page, Lekhim has not yet received confirmation that Ukraine has received the vaccine. The company claims that Medical Procurement was warned about the delivery of the first batch of vaccines on March 4, but the latter has not yet confirmed its readiness to accept it and has not announced the place of delivery.
The application for registration of CoronaVas in Ukraine was filed in February. A month later, on March 10, the vaccine was registered for emergency use in Ukraine.