In Ukraine, a state vaccination campaign against coronavirus should start in February. During the first stage, the Chinese vaccine will most likely be used, and its delivery will have to wait. However, the list of names of mobile brigades has allegedly already been formed, and the state has agreed with pharmaceutical companies on logistics and refrigerators.
We tell you what is known about the National Vaccination Plan - where at the state expense will be inoculated and to whom. We also figure out what is the likelihood of a commercial vaccination campaign in parallel with the state one.
The Cabinet of Ministers constantly notes that a program has been developed called the National Vaccination Plan. The details of the plan were revealed by Prime Minister Denys Shmygal during his parliamentary speech on January 26.
According to the plan, the state plans to vaccinate 50% of the population against coronavirus by the end of 2022. Here we are talking about voluntary free vaccination (that is, at the expense of taxpayers from the state budget).
PM Shmygal stressed that in parallel with free vaccination, vaccination on a commercial basis in private clinics will also be carried out.
"It is not prohibited if the vaccine is certified and licensed in the country," Shmygal said.
The state vaccination campaign for risk groups includes 5 stages:
First stage would cover medical workers and personnel who provide assistance to patients with coronavirus, people in nursing homes, and military personnel of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas. Within the first stage, it is planned to vaccinate 367,000 people. Shmyhal assured that vaccination will begin in February immediately after the drugs are delivered to the country.
Second stage embraces social workers, people over 80 years old, and other medical workers. As part of the second stage, it is planned to vaccinate 2,540 thousand people, this stage is likely to start at the end of March.
Third stage covers people with a high risk of infection and those who perform the functions of supporting and safeguarding the life of the state - employees of the State Emergencies Service, Security Service of Ukraine, police, teachers, and other categories. It is planned to reach 7.2 million people.
Fourth stage of vaccination would cover people with an increased level of infection – people aged 60 to 64, adults with concomitant diseases, and other categories of the population.
Fifth stage concerns other people who are not included in the priority groups will be vaccinated.
Also under consideration in the Verkhovna Rada is a draft resolution "On the National Plan for Vaccination of the Population of Ukraine from Covid-19." The document contains a requirement for the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Health to develop and adopt a plan for vaccination of the population against coronavirus as soon as possible, "based on data from epidemiological surveillance, mathematical modeling, and forecasting, as well as taking into account the recommendations of international organizations and the experience of other countries." The document was included in the agenda on Thursday 28 January. Perhaps, after the vote, the plan will reveal more details.
Places for vaccination
The first stage of the vaccination process will be carried out by special mobile teams. According to Shmygal, the composition of the brigades has already been formed by name. More than 500 mobile teams will work, which will travel to healthcare institutions and organized teams – schools, enterprises.
The second and subsequent stages of vaccination are planned to be carried out in more than 4 thousand vaccination points at outpatient clinics and primary health care centers.
With regard to logistics, the government has prepared and continues to prepare the medical system. This concerns the formation of routes for delivery. The process in the regions will be coordinated by the heads of the health departments. Vaccine refrigerators will be attracted by private pharmaceutical logistics companies.
What vaccine will be purchased and when
This is the most important and most difficult question. Ukraine, within the framework of the WHO COVAX program, expects to receive at least 8 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, which will be enough for 4 million Ukrainians.
Until February 1, Ukraine is awaiting a decision from COVAX to include it in the distribution within the "first wave". Denys Shmygal noted that in case of a positive decision, "we will receive in February - March from 100,000 to 200,000 Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines."
The prime minister added that under COVAX, the country can receive those vaccines with which COVAX has supply and production agreements, in particular Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Sanofi/GSK.
So far, however, the most achievable is a coronavirus vaccine made in China. In December, Ukraine signed a contract for the purchase of a vaccine manufactured by Sinovac Biotech. The number of vaccines will be 1,913 million doses. Even this vaccine, around which a scandal arose, Ukraine expects to receive in three to four weeks.
"Delivery Schedule: 30 days after the vaccine is registered in the manufacturing country or in other countries with strict regulatory policies (US, EU, Canada, Japan - ed.). Last week, the Sinovac vaccine was approved for use in Brazil, where its clinical trials," said Shmygal.
The Prime Minister stressed that there will be enough vaccines for everyone during this year. According to him, now there is a preliminary agreement on more than 30 million doses, there are already signed contracts and at the stage of signing.
Private clinics: Faster but more expensive
Most likely, Ukraine would carry out two vaccination campaigns – public and private ones. Moreover, the state has not purchased so many doses, and the very process of vaccination of risk groups may take a long time, DW notes.
Moreover, an unfair situation may arise when at-risk groups receive a dose of the vaccine later than those who can buy it themselves.
"The state will pretend to vaccinate the entire country, create the illusion of control over this process. At the same time, Ukrainians will be vaccinated in private clinics for their own money," Pavlo Kovtonyuk, head of the Center for Health Economics of the Kyiv School of Economics, assures.
For example, the Sinovac vaccine. The Lekhim company, which is considered the official distributor of CoronaVac vaccine in Ukraine, has begun accepting applications from enterprises for the vaccination of workers. The Ministry of Health is going to buy only 1.9 million from the intermediary. In general, Lekhim signed a contract for 5 million doses. The rest of the company will sell at its own discretion.
The vaccination proposal is aimed at any enterprise and private clinics that will be able to purchase vaccines and carry out vaccinations, the publication is quoted by Lekhim's commercial director Ruslan Rudya.
According to the publication, private clinics began to form a preliminary order for the Sinovac vaccine back in December 2020. Vaccines are still being reserved, although in fact not a single vaccine has yet been registered or imported in Ukraine.
Reservation prices differ: somewhere it will cost 250 USD for two doses, somewhere they just say at least $ 110 per dose. The government's CoronaVac vaccine will cost 17.85 USD per dose. For the same amount, Lekhim promised to sell the vaccine to customers.
As of January 28, Poland has already received 1,8 million vaccinations. On Monday, the vaccination of people over 70 began in the country.
According to the plan, at the zero stage, doctors, employees of social care homes and city social assistance centers, pharmacists, employees of medical universities, students of medical specialties, and parents of premature babies were vaccinated.
At the first stage, the list included residents of social assistance houses and institutions of care and treatment, old people, patients with chronic diseases, law enforcement officers and soldiers, prosecutors, teachers, rescuers.
How does the recording take place? Vaccinations are voluntary, and registrations for them started on January 15 in the 80+ group and on January 22 in the 70+ group. Now all dates have already been reserved for the end of March.
Individuals to be vaccinated receive electronic invitations. They are valid for 60 days from the date of receipt. Also, electronic referrals for vaccinations are issued by family doctors. You can sign up for a visit through the website https://pacjent.gov.pl/ or by calling 989. After registration, the person receives an SMS confirmation, the day before the appointment – an SMS reminder. Re-vaccination takes place 21 days later without registration.