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21 Aug, 2020 15:30

A scientific power in Soviet times, today’s Ukraine incapable of making own Covid-19 vaccine, says Zelensky

A scientific power in Soviet times, today’s Ukraine incapable of making own Covid-19 vaccine, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted that his country doesn’t have the capability to create a domestic coronavirus vaccine, but is ready to help mass produce a formula once another nation develops its own.

Zelensky claims Ukraine has brilliant doctors and scientists, but suffers from a lack of infrastructure. According to the World Bank, it has a GDP per capita of just $3,659, making it the poorest country in Europe.

“We have no laboratories to create vaccines, but there are already several enterprises ready to produce a vaccine in bulk,” the president said, explaining that the administration is already in consultation with other countries with a view to making enough doses to cover the nation’s internal needs. He didn’t name any particular state.

Zelensky, a former comedian and actor, also announced plans to create a research center to develop vaccines and better prepare Ukraine for any epidemiological challenge in the future. “This instruction has already been given,” he explained. “We’ll create a separate center and gather the best scientists in Ukraine, so we’re ready for any challenge.”

On August 11, Ukraine’s eastern neighbor, Russia, announced the registration of a Covid-19 vaccine named Sputnik V – the first to be registered in the world. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s both effective and safe, and it’s due to be administered to schoolteachers and medical workers in the near future. The development of Sputnik V has been criticized abroad for being rushed, however, including by Ukraine’s chief medical officer, Viktor Lyashko.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Ukraine has registered 102,948 cases of Covid-19 and 2,248 deaths.

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