Ukraine seeks $90 mln loan from World Bank to buy COVID-19 vaccines

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Ukraine has agreed with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a $90-million loan to procure vaccines against COVID-19, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

“The project will provide funds for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for the population of Ukraine in addition to the number of vaccines that were guaranteed under the COVAX and GAVI partnership,” the ministry said in a statement.

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It did not disclose how many doses the country of 41 million people will be able to buy.

“This will allow Ukraine to achieve its primary goal - full vaccination coverage of at least 20 percent of the country’s population,” the ministry said.

Ukraine has lagged behind other European countries in its immunization campaign. It has so far relied on a single batch of 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines bought in India and received in late February, and 215,000 Sinovac doses from China received in late March. In April Kyiv also received 117,000 Pfizer doses, provided under the global COVAX scheme.

The health ministry said on Tuesday that about 540,000 people had received the first jabs while the number of registered infections exceeded 2 million with almost 43,000 deaths.

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