In Ukraine, the start of vaccination is delayed. Initially, there were promises that the vaccination campaign would begin on February 15. It was supposed to be a vaccine from Pfizer. However, nothing started on February 15, and whether the Pfizer vaccine would enter Ukraine was also questioned. On February 18, Health Minister Maxim Stepanov flew to India to monitor the supply of a COVID-19 vaccine. And this is not Pfizer, but an Indian vaccine.
Before leaving for India, Stepanov said (quotation), “We are preparing for negotiations with the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world – Serum Institute of India. Unfortunately, the pandemic will be a global problem for the next few years. We understand that it is necessary to contract additional volumes now. Therefore, the main task is to reach direct agreements for the supply of additional volumes of Oxford / AstraZeneca and NovaVax vaccines in 2021-2022 directly with the manufacturer, up to the already contracted 12 million doses. I will check the sending of the first batch on the spot. The importance of the cargo is binding. ”
Therefore, when the Minister announced that he had an agreement on the supply 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccine, which is produced at the facilities of the Indian plant Serum Institute of India, many Ukrainians simply did not understand what kind of vaccine it is. We explain.
MYTH 1: AN UNKNOWN CAT-LAP IS COMING TO UKRAINE
A vaccine developed by Oxford University and originally named AZD 1222 is coming to Ukraine. This vaccine is known as Astra Zeneka or Covishield. Covishield is manufactured at the facilities of the Indian plant Serum Institute of India. That is, it is an Indian vaccine only according to the country of the manufacturer.
On July 4, 2020, AstraZeneka and the Serum Institute of India signed an agreement to grant a voluntary license to manufacture and ship 1 billion doses of vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
MYTH 2: INDIA CANNOT PRODUCE EFFECTIVE MEDICINES
India is a pharmaceutical giant that produced 60% of the world’s vaccines before the pandemic.
MYTH 3: COVISHIELD RECEIVES WHO PRE-QUALIFICATION
No, It did not because no vaccine has been pre-qualified by the WHO.
MYTH 4: COVISHIELD VACCINE IS NOT APPROVED FOR EMERGENCY USE
The Covishield vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use.
- The Covishield vaccine is an analogue of the Oxford Astra Zeneka.
- This vaccine is WHO approved for emergency use.
- The vaccine requires two doses, the optimal time difference between injections is 4-12 weeks.
- Studies on Astra Zeneka show that the administration of the second dose with an interval of 12 weeks was 81.3%. So there is an assumption that it is better to make the time longer, but this issue is still being studied.
Author: Natalia Bushkovska