Sinovac vaccine to arrive in Ukraine despite procurement agency denial: Chinese Embassy
Published: Mar 25, 2021 07:53 PM
Staff members unload a temperature-controlled cargo container with COVID-19 vaccines from Chinese company Sinovac at Mexico International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 27, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Photo: Xinhua

The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine said the first batch of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Ukraine on Thursday night (local time) as scheduled, although Ukraine's procurement agency said earlier it could not receive the batch. 

Ukraine's state Medical Procurement Agency said that it could not accept the first batch of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine because the supplier did not provide required documents, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine told the Global Times that it was aware of the report, but so far it had not been contacted by any department regarding the issue. It said it was waiting for the shipment, which was scheduled to arrive in the capital of Kiev late on Thursday night. 

The Sinovac vaccines were purchased by a local pharmaceutical company called Lekhim, and all materials and applications for the purchase have already been approved and completed, and Ukraine's Ministry of Health also confirmed that Sinovac had met all of Ukraine's import standards, a source close to the matter told the Global Times on Thursday. 

The embassy said that it is negotiating with the Medical Procurement Agency, the government body that regulates purchase and procurement activities in the country, and it is further confirming the matter with Ukraine's Ministry of Health.

The Global Times learned from Sinovac that the company is currently awaiting a further solution.

This batch of the Sinovac vaccines, which contains about 1.8 million doses, is part of the 5 million total doses that Lekhim has ordered from Sinovac. On March 9, the country approved the Sinovac vaccine for market use

The Chinese Embassy has also been rolling out a vaccination program for Chinese nationals in Ukraine as part of the "spring sprout" program that aims to inoculate overseas Chinese nationals worldwide. As previously planned, some of the Sinovac doses in the batch will be used for this program. 

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine and Sinovac's Ukrainian partner Lekhim had not replied to the Global Times' request for comment as of press time. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ukraine have been surging over the past month, leading to a three-week lockdown in the capital and several other regions of the country. Ukraine started a mass vaccination program in late February, but this has been advancing slowly. Only 111,000 people had been vaccinated as of Monday.

Ukraine had registered more than 1.59 million COVID-19 infections as of Wednesday, with 31,135 deaths, according to official data released by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. 

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