COVID-19 vaccination in Ukraine
Ukraine's vaccination program started on 24 February 2021 and from that day to 12 September 2021 10,710,944 vaccinations were given in Ukraine (meaning 18% of the adult population of Ukraine had been vaccinated against COVID-19). About 44% of those vaccinated had been fully vaccinated. Ukraine has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe. Ukraine uses vaccines from four different manufacturers.
Vaccinated Ukrainians do not have to strictly obey the quarantine rules of Ukraine's epidemiologic zone system ("green", "yellow" and "red").
Ukraine was offered the Sputnik vaccine, produced in Russia, but in February 2021 Ukraine refused to buy or register it, and since requires all people entering the country who have been vaccinated by Sputnik to take a COVID test.
Vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine started on 24 February 2021, but the tempo of vaccinating has been extremely slow compared to other European countries. The main reasons are the lack of vaccines (none of the vaccines are produced in Ukraine), disinformation in social media about the effect of vaccines (according to an Atlantic Council analysis primarily by Russia-backed parties) and strong scepticism among the population. In the first quarter of 2021, only about 230,000 Ukrainians were vaccinated, which is 0.4% of the population.
On 13 September 2021 50% of the population of neighboring Poland was fully vaccinated, in Slovakia this number was 40%, in Turkey 47%, and in Moldova more than 21%. On that exact same date 18% of the adult population of Ukraine had been vaccinated against COVID-19 (the number of vaccinations being 10,710,944).
Ukraine uses vaccines from four different manufacturers.
Around mid-June 2021, 1.4 million first shots had been given, meaning 3.5% of the total population was partially vaccinated. Meanwhile, 0.6% (2,000 people) of Ukrainians had received the second dose and thus were fully vaccinated. In the first two weeks of June, more than 20,000 people were vaccinated in Ukraine every day. According to an investigation by Lb.ua, in June 2021 it was unclear at what date people could receive their second shot of the vaccine due to unstable and unpredictable delivery schedules. The Ministry of Healthcare assured that there would be enough vaccines for second doses. In June 2021, vaccination of civil servants, prosecutors and judges began, but no first dose had been given to people over the age of 60, people with chronic diseases (such as diabetes) and cancer patients.
On 15 June 2021, members of the (422 seats strong) Ukrainian parliament were vaccinated with the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, several MPs claimed that they had not been informed that they would be vaccinated with this particular vaccine. According to the Speaker of the Vekhovna Rada[nb 2], these vaccinations (which was reported to be provided to MPs, their assistants and staff[nb 3]) were carried out in accordance with the schedule of the Ministry of Healthcare. On 21 September 2021 Servant of the People faction member Mykhailo Radutskyi claimed that 50% of the MP's were unvaccinated. From 14 to 20 June, 367,000 Ukrainians were vaccinated against coronavirus: 246,339 people received a first dose, and 121,654 people a second dose.
On 23 June 2021, the number of people who had received a second dose exceeded 400,000.
On 12 July 2021 3,489,332 vaccine doses had been administered, 2,311,690 Ukrainians had received their first injection, and 1,177,642 their second (and they were considered fully immunised).
By 16 August 2021 4,793,100 people had been vaccinated, of which 2,791,305 people were fully immunized (after having had received two injections). 14 days later 5,359,417 people were vaccinated in Ukraine, of whom 5,359,415 had received the first dose, and 3,722,707 people were fully immunized after receiving both doses. On this August 30, 150,482 people were vaccinated against COVID-19: 50,690 people received a single dose, and 99,792 people their second.
(The next month) in the week from 6 to 12 September, 921,443 vaccines were inoculated into Ukrainians (on 12 September, 16,930 people received one dose and 28,218 people were fully immunized). This making the number of vaccinations given in Ukraine, since 24 February 2021, 10,710,944. So 18% of the adult population of Ukraine had been vaccinated against COVID-19 by 13 September 2021. According to the official statistics of 6 September 2021, 7.6% of people over the age of 80 had received at least one dose of the vaccine, for people aged 40-59 this figure was slightly more than 19% and the most vaccinated group was people aged 18-19 years of whom 19.8% had received at least one dose of vaccine. On 14 September 2021 Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that all of the country's adult population should be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year.
On 17 September 2021 the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated it had (in Dnipro) dismantled an online influence operations campaign that operated 5,000 bots which (according to the SBU) "was commissioned by curators from the Russian Federation and was engaged in disrupting the national vaccination in Ukraine."
On 20 September 2021 Health Minister Viktor Liashko stated that from June 15 to September 15 92% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated and 99.2% of recorded COVID-19 deaths were are also unvaccinated patients.
A late September 2021 investigation by Radio Free Europe revealed that a mass market in fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates.[nb 4] This demand (for fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates) especially grew after the European Union agreed to recognize Ukrainian digital vaccination documents.
On 15 October 2021 a total of 14,307,558 vaccinations had been administered. 7,873,767 had received one dose and 6,433,791 people were fully immunized after having received two doses. On October 15 itself, 148,438 Ukrainians had been vaccinated.
In the first six months of 2021 5.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to Ukraine, those were 1.9 million doses of CoronaVac, 1.6 million doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, and 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine. By the end of June 2021 contracts had been signed for the supply of 37.3 million doses of vaccines, including 20 million doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, ten million doses of the Novavax vaccine, 5.3 million doses of CoronaVac, and two million doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine. On 5 July 2021 Ukraine approved the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. In July 2021 Ukraine started to vaccinate with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Mid-September 2021 Ukraine had in stock 10 million vaccines from four different manufacturers.
In mid-August 2021 Ukrainians were vaccinated by 804 mobile teams and in 2,755 fixed vaccination points and in 324 vaccination centers. Late August 2021 982 mobile teams, 2,899 vaccination points and 330 vaccination centers exited in Ukraine. On 12 September 2021 300 mobile teams, 1,004 vaccination points, and 353 vaccination centers worked to immunize the population.
Restrictions for non-vaccinated/mandatory vaccination
- the "green" zone; where there is a requirement for the mandatory wearing of masks in public buildings and transport
- the "yellow" zone; where (in addition to the mask mode and the need to maintain a distance) mass events with the participation of more than one person per 4 square meters of the area of the premises or territory is prohibited, the congestion of cinemas and other cultural institutions by more than 50% of seats is prohibited, the congestion of gyms and fitness centers with more than one person by 10 square meters is prohibited and the work of educational institutions will be closed, except for those where at least 80% of employees have a "yellow" or "green" COVID certificate
- the "red" epidemiological zone; where it will be prohibited to supply public catering (except for targeted delivery and take-out orders) and shopping and entertainment centers, cinemas, theaters, entertainment establishments, cultural institutions (except for historical and cultural reserves) film and video filming, non-food markets and shops, gyms, swimming pools and fitness centers, educational institutions, mass events (except for official sports events and matches of team playing sports without spectators), hotels, hostels, etc. will be closed;
Business owners can choose to use government proved "yellow" certificates for those who received a single dose of coronavirus vaccine and "green" certificates for those who have received all necessary vaccinations to enforce quarantine rules. Or threat all their clients as "non-vaccinated".
The above mentioned "colour zone" restrictions will not apply if all staff and all visitors, except those under 18, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
On 22 September 2021 Health Minister Viktor Liashko disclosed that his ministry was planning to approve a list of professions subject to mandatory vaccination (against coronavirus infection). This list was intended to entice more teachers to get vaccinated (49% of education workers had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine); others on the proposed list (medical workers, the Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry, the National Guard of Ukraine) had already a high rate of vaccinated (80% to 90%).
Future vaccination plans
On 14 September 2021 Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that repeated vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine was likely to be done next year "because it's not clear which variants will appear and how the virus will behave."
Skepticism towards vaccines in Ukraine was widespread prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to a 2019 survey, only 29% of Ukrainians said vaccines were safe. Vaccine skepticism is also significant among health workers in Ukraine, with about 40% being categorized as "vaccine hesitant" by UNICEF. In March 2021, about half of the population did not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 even if a vaccine were available.
According to a May 2021 poll by International Republican Institute and Sociological group "RATING" the cities Lviv, Vinnytsia, Sumy, Uzhhorod and Ivano-Frankivsk had the highest rate of people who want to be vaccinated. The least interested in getting vaccinated lived in Mariupol, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Sievierodonetsk and Mykolaiv.
In August 2021 56% of Ukrainians polled by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation did not plan to be vaccinated. In the same poll 52% opposed mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. The same poll also revealed that 23% of those polled considered vaccination an effective means of protection against COVID-19. The most chosen effective methods of preventing coronavirus disease (according to the August 2021 polled Ukrainians) were "washing your hands after leaving the street" (54%), "keeping distance from others" (42%), "being attentive to their well-being and the health of others" (39%), and "wearing a mask" (36%).
- A June 2021 poll stated 43% of Ukrainians did not intend to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
- The Speaker of the Vekhovna Rada himself, Dmytro Razumkov, did not get vaccinated (against COVID-19).
- A total of 828 people, according to parliament.
- Allegedly Italian customs let two Ukrainians through who had used fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates.
- (in Ukrainian) In a week, Ukrainians received more than 900,000 vaccinations against COVID, Ukrayinska Pravda (13 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) More than 10 million vaccinations: Lyashko assures that he has fulfilled his promise, Ukrayinska Pravda (8 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) More than half of Ukrainians do not plan to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Poll, Ukrayinska Pravda - Life (13 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Ukraine needs to make more efforts to vaccinate the elderly - the World Bank, Ukrayinska Pravda (13 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Quarantine, tariffs and positions: how the government enters the autumn turbulence, Lb.ua (14 September 2021)
- Mefford, Brian (6 April 2021). "Ukraine fails vaccine test". Atlantic Council.
- "Вакцинация в Украине: кто и почему отказывается от прививки" (in Russian). Deutsche Welle. 30 March 2021.
- (in Ukrainian) The share of "anti-vaccinators" among Ukrainians has fallen by 8.5% since March, - Razumkov Center, Lb.ua (15 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) From September 23 in all regions of Ukraine - "yellow" level of epidemiological danger, Ukrayinska Pravda (21 September 2021)
- "Ukraine says Russia's Sputnik vaccine is not enough to enter country". Reuters. 10 June 2021.
- "Ukraine starts its COVID-19 vaccination campaign". Reuters. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
- (in Ukrainian) We started with Pfizer, but ended up with nothing: in Ukrzaliznytsia I can't decide how to vaccinate employees, UNIAN (16 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Another dose. Is there life between vaccine deliveries?, Lb.ua (16 June 2021)
- "Офіційний портал Верховної Ради України (Factions of the 9th Convection of the Verkovna Rada)". w1.c1.rada.gov.ua. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
- (in Ukrainian) MPs were not told in advance which vaccine against COVID-19 they would be vaccinated - Osadchuk, UNIAN (16 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Deputies in the Council are vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer vaccine, Ukrayinska Pravda (16 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Unvaccinated Razumkov recovered after the second Covid infection, Ukrayinska Pravda (26 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) More than 800 people were vaccinated against COVID in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainska Pravda (1 July 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Equality march and the threat of a new lockdown. What was discussed on the air of "Freedom of Speech" on ICTV, Lb.ua (21 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Coronavirus: a record number of vaccinations were given in Ukraine in a week , Ukrayinska Pravda (21 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Ukraine has crossed the 400,000 fully vaccinated against COVID, Ukrayinska Pravda (24 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) In Ukraine, again the record of COVID-vaccinations - more than half a million per week, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 July 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) More than 120,000 people have been vaccinated in Ukraine in a day, Ukrayinska Pravda (17 August 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) 9 million coronavirus vaccinations have already been given in Ukraine, Ukrayinska Pravda (31 August 2021)
- Ukrainian PM not ruling repeated vaccination against COVID-19 in 2022, Ukrinform (14 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Vaccination in Ukraine was disrupted by order from the Russian Federation: the SBU exposed thousands of bots, Ukrayinska Pravda (17 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Almost 100% of deaths due to COVID-19 were among the unvaccinated - Lyashko, Ukrayinska Pravda (20 September 2021)
- Ukraine's Booming Black Market In Fake COVID Vaccination Certificates, Radio Free Europe (30 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Nearly 13,000 COVID cases were detected in Ukraine over the weekend, Ukrayinska Pravda (16 October 2021)
- Ukraine spends over UAH 26B on fight against COVID-19 in H1 2021, Ukrinform (8 July 2021)
- Ukraine approves Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters (5 July 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) The Kyiv Vaccination Center will vaccinate with Moderna, Ukrayinska Pravda – Zhyttia ("Life") (21 July 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Germany will provide Ukraine with 1.5 million doses of COVID vaccine - Merkel, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 July 2021)
- Cabinet updates quarantine restrictions at different levels of epidemic, Interfax-Ukraine (14 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) The Cabinet of Ministers introduced yellow and green COVID certificates and updated the quarantine rules, Ukrayinska Pravda (13 September 2021)
- All Ukrainian regions transferred to 'green' quarantine zone, Interfax-Ukraine (9 June 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) The Ministry of Health wants to oblige certain professions and areas to COVID vaccination, Ukrayinska Pravda (22 September 2021)
- Holt, Edward (2021-04-01). "COVID-19 vaccination in Ukraine". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 21 (4): 462. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00156-0. ISSN 1473-3099. PMC 7990473. PMID 33773128.
- (in Ukrainian) Most want to get the vaccine from COVID-19 in Lviv and Vinnytsia, and the capital grazes the rear, Ukrayinska Pravda (17 September 2021)
- (in Ukrainian) Only 23% of Ukrainians consider vaccination effective for the prevention of COVID-19. Poll, Ukrayinska Pravda - Life (13 September 2021)