KYIV: Ukraine has secured from the Serum Institute of India 12 million coronavirus vaccine doses developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said.
The announcement is a breakthrough for Ukraine, which has found itself at the back of Europe's coronavirus vaccine queue and has called on the European Union for help in acquiring more doses for its 41 million people.
"Twelve million doses is a good signal from our partners, and this will be enough to ensure vaccination within the first months after the start of the deliveries (this month)," his office quoted Zelenskiy as saying in a statement.
Ukrainian health officials have said the country is likely to start COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-February.
Ukraine has said in January that it was in talks with Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, on supplying COVID-19 vaccines.
Ukraine, which has registered more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and 22,707 deaths, has already agreed to buy some vaccines from China and expects to get at least 8 million doses under the global COVAX programme for poorer countries.
No vaccine has yet been formally approved for use in Ukraine yet but authorities have repeatedly said Kyiv will not approve or use vaccines from Russia, with which it is at loggerheads.