Viktor Medvedchuk: Kyiv has no contracts on the supply of vaccines under the COVAX program. That is merely a PR stunt by the government
Ukrainians remain at risk of no vaccine against COVID-19. Counter to the assurances from the government, our country has not received guarantees from anyone for the supply of a vaccine against coronavirus – neither now nor in the future. Participation in the COVAX program, with the high officials from which, according to the Ministry of Health, Ukraine is negotiating for free supplies of vaccines, today is nothing more than a PR stunt by the government. MP Viktor Medvedchuk, the chair of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, said this when being interviewed by journalists on the sidelines of the parliament session.
“Regarding the so-called COVAX program, with which Ukraine is allegedly negotiating on the issue of free vaccines. First, COVAX has not yet known which vaccine may be obtained, Medvedchuk noted. “Second, they themselves do not know when this vaccine will be received. And third, Ukraine has concluded no single official contract for vaccine production with either COVAX or with other developers or manufacturers.”
According to the politician, the statements of the Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine, Chief Sanitary Doctor Viktor Lyashko that Ukraine has received official approval of its request for a vaccine against COVID-19 under the COVAX program are just empty words.
“The statement by Mr. Lyashko and other representatives of the Ministry of Health that Ukraine has received official approval to receive the vaccine is nothing more than another PR move,” Medvedchuk said. “Think about it, ‘approval’, also ‘official’! Show the documents, regulations that govern the availability of the COVAX vaccine, show the obligations of both parties. None of this exists and cannot exist, because there are no agreements!”
As the parliamentarian emphasized, Kyiv’s refusal to independently produce the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, to which the Russian manufacturer has already agreed, illustrates short-sightedness and amateurism of the Ukrainian government. Ukrainians may be left without any protection from coronavirus amidst the pandemic at all.
Medvedchuk also noted that Sputnik V is one of two vaccines against COVID-19 in the world to start mass vaccination with. All vaccines against coronavirus are now in the third phase of clinical trials, but the one of Russian Sputnik V vaccine ends in March 2021, Moderna and AstraZeneca will finish the third phase in late 2022 – early 2023, while the Pfizer vaccine and BioNTech – in 2023.
In addition, the Russian vaccine has shown 100% effectiveness in preventing possible complications and severe course of the disease. Moderna at this stage of clinical trials, in the third phase, has 95% efficiency, Pfizer and BioNTech – also 95%, while AstraZeneca – 70%.
Answering the question of journalists whether he is ready to test the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus on himself, Medvedchuk recalled that he had already been vaccinated with Sputnik V.
“I did it long ago, back in August this year. As you can see, I’m standing in front of you, everything is fine,” he noted. “In the meantime, the authorities are acting against the interests of Ukrainian citizens in the fight against coronavirus.”