Ukraine is blindly following US health guidelines: the Ukrainian administration has consecutively abandoned the Russian measles vaccine and now it has refused from Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, in an interview with The New York Times, said that it was impossible to explain to the Ukrainians why they should not receive vaccines from Russia if Europe and America do not supply Kiev with their drugs.
According to the NYT, Zelenskiy could hardly contain his frustration over the decree signed by outgoing US President Donald Trump, which bans the export of vaccines.
Prior to that, Kiev was negotiating with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson about an accelerated schedule for the delivery of the vaccines. However, Ukraine would receive first commercial batches of vaccines against COVID-19 several months later than expected.
It appears that the Ukrainians would rather die than be vaccinated with the aggressor's vaccine. Until recently, though, Ukraine has been using such tactic of action to justify the curtailment of all sorts of cooperation with Russia to the benefit of an alternative - more expensive Western products.
Natalya Vitrenko, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), told Pravda.Ru, that Zelensky has found himself in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, the United States of America has clearly told him that Ukraine would not buy the Russian vaccine. On the other hand, COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in Ukraine has been growing at a colossal pace.
Vitrenko clarified that Ukraine has arranged 27,000 beds for COVID patients, while Russia has 270,000. Noteworthy, Russia is five times the size of Ukraine in terms of the population. Consequently, the number of hospital beds in Ukraine is twice as less in comparison to Russia, noted Vitrenko.
"Russia has built 40 new hospitals outfitted with modern equipment. In contrast, Ukraine, as a rule, uses old shabby hospitals, medics with no PPE - there is shortage of everything, starting with ventilators, drugs and everything else. Zelensky understands perfectly well that the incidence and mortality will continue to grow. He knows that he will have to answer this question someday: "Where is the vaccine?" That is why he resorted to this form of rhetoric ("impossible to explain") in order to force the West to either give permission to purchase Russian vaccines or ensure the supplies of Western vaccines," Natalia Vitrenko told Pravda.Ru.
It is worthy of note that Ukraine has been reforming its health care system following US patterns. As a result, the epidemiological situation in the country has worsened, outbreaks of known diseases have become more frequent, new strains have appeared. With Ulyana Suprun as the Minister of Health, Ukraine saw the measles epidemic taking an unprecedented scale, because Suprun banned Russian vaccines allegedly due to their ineffectiveness without offering an alternative.
In October, at a meeting between the US Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Christina Queen and the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health Maxim Stepanov, the US side said that Ukraine would not purchase the Russian vaccine against COVID-19 because the drug had passed clinical safety trials.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a conversation with the chairman of the political council of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform - For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk, said that Russia was ready to ensure the supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine to Ukraine. To make it happen, Putin said, the official authorities of Ukraine need to take part in the process.
Russia's Gamaleya Center, the maker of Sputnik V, expressed readiness to produce the Sputnik V vaccine in Ukraine and submit documents for its registration in thee country. A representative of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that the Kharkov plant Biolek has the required technological capabilities for the production of vector vaccines. Spokespeople for the Kharkov pharmaceutical company Biolek said that at the moment the company was not engaged in the production of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus and can arrange such activities only if the drug is registered in Ukraine.