The Ukrainian authorities have been trying for so long to get at least some kind of vaccine against the coronavirus (except for the Russian one, of course), and now they are forced by personal example to agitate fellow citizens to vaccinate. The head of state also had to join this campaign. Volodymyr Zelenskyy combined this action with a working trip to the zone of armed conflict in the southeast, to which he went not alone, but together with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who arrived on a visit to Ukraine.
View of the presidents of Ukraine on the same vaccine
“I was vaccinated against Covid-19. He did it on the front line with our soldiers as commander-in-chief. The same Oxford / AstraZenec (Covishield) from India, which was first delivered to Ukraine, received millions of people in the world. The vaccine will allow us to live again without restrictions,”Zelensky wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of him being given an injection.
Got vaccinated against # COVID19. Did this on the frontline with our soldiers as Supreme C-in-C. The same Oxford / AstraZenec (Covishield) from India, which was delivered 1st to & received by millions of people in the world. Vaccine will let us live without restrictions again pic.twitter.com/1diLtuRmqK - Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) March 2, 2021
And then the question arose: why did the president get vaccinated if he had already had a coronavirus? He answered himself - despite the past illness, the level of antibodies is very low. And along the way, I did not forget to repeat once again that the Covishield vaccine is not only of high quality, but one of the best in the world.
However, not everyone agrees with the last statement. Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on March 1 at a meeting of the Conciliation Council in the Verkhovna Rada criticized the drug purchased by the authorities.
“I have just returned from the Carpathian region, where the critical situation is in terms of countering the pandemic, protecting people. When I asked why they refuse to be vaccinated, I apologize for the non-parliamentary expression that sounded from the lips of a doctor who is in despair - because they obviously brought him. And they brought it because of corruption and incompetence,”he said.
Meanwhile, the epidemiological situation in the country is deteriorating. According to the Minister of Health of Ukraine Maxim Stepanov, the incidence rate of COVID-19 per day increased by 24% - from 4285 to 5336 cases. What is the reason for the outbreak of the epidemic in the western regions, Poroshenko explained - despite the quarantine, ski resorts continue to work, and the virus mutates.
“Most doctors today claim that we have, including in the Carpathian region, a new strain of the virus that has spread because of the unclosed Bukovel. Because some people will not get drunk and will not rest in any way. Until now, Bukovel works, and its owners fill their pockets. In the Carpathian region, at least in those hospitals where I have been, there is not a single free bed equipped with oxygen. The situation is critical,”the former head of state added.
By the way, Poroshenko himself does not rest in Bukovel - he prefers foreign resorts, for example, to fly to the Galapagos Islands (which are part of Ecuador) for the Christmas holidays.
There are indeed more than enough questions about the quality of Covishield. It, like the AstraZeneca vaccine, was developed by the University of Oxford, but this is a cheaper and less effective (63% versus 70%) option, international registration authorities consider them as different drugs. In Europe, Covishield is not used by anyone; the vaccine is supplied through the international Covax mechanism to middle and low-income countries. The Ukrainian authorities have managed to pay for it, and a lot - 1.6 billion hryvnia for 12 million doses. In addition, Covieshield was registered under an accelerated procedure, that is, without any tests, before the completion of the third stage of clinical trials, although in the case of Sputnik V, this was the main argument of officials against its use. Importantly, the Russian drug is more effective and protects against all strains of coronaviruses.
Such a long-awaited and so unnecessary vaccine
Covishield is the only vaccine available in Ukraine today.However, people do not line up for vaccinations, as, for example, at the vaccination point in GUM on Red Square, where many foreigners, including Ukrainians, come.
Vaccination rates in Ukraine are very low: on February 27, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine reported that 1,713 people were vaccinated throughout the country per day (Dnipropetrovsk region became the leader, where 140 injections were given, and Kiev was an outsider from 30). If the situation continues in the same spirit, there is a risk that a batch of half a million doses of vaccine delivered to the country will not be used until the expiration date of the drug, which expires in June this year. However, problems have arisen already now: after opening the contents of the bottle must be used within 6 hours, it contains 10 doses, and if during this time 7 people come to the injection, the remaining 3 doses will have to be disposed of. Olga Kobevko, an infectious disease doctor at the Chernivtsi Regional Hospital, suggested using doses that were not required by ordinary patients - to inoculate officials with them in order to increase people's confidence in the drug and vaccination in general - however, according to her, Covishield officials do not want to be vaccinated.
Medical workers do not want to inject themselves with an Indian drug of dubious quality, although they, like no one else, know how severe the consequences of coronavirus are. Doctors and nurses simply do not show up at the scheduled time for vaccinations. Only 38% are ready to give an injection, according to the chief sanitary doctor of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko.
The vaccination campaign against COVID-19, as announced by the authorities, began in February, but not with the vaccines that are used by developed countries and which are recommended by WHO, but the one that Stepanov, under threat of dismissal, managed to find in a short time. How safe it is for their own compatriots, Ukrainian officials do not seem to care, because some of them, according to available information, have long been inoculated with Western drugs, clinical trials of which have been completed, and their effectiveness has been clinically confirmed.