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Health minister falsely claims Ukraine reached WHO's target of vaccinating 40% of population

by Victoria Petryk December 14, 2021 12:01 AM 1 min read
A man receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Ternopil, Ukraine, on Nov. 16, 2021. (Ternopil Oblast State Administration/Facebook)
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Health Minister Viktor Lyashko announced on Dec. 13 that Ukraine has reached the World Health Organization's recommended target of fully vaccinating 40% of its adult population against Covid-19 by the end of 2021.

However, according to the WHO's Strategy to Achieve Global Covid-19 Vaccination by mid-2022, the goal for every country was to fully vaccinate 40% of the overall population, not adults, by the end of this year.

According to the health ministry, a total of 32.6% of Ukrainians have now received both doses required for complete vaccination. This includes over 12.4 million adult Ukrainians.

The ministry calculates vaccination rates out of a total population of 38 million, excluding Russian-occupied Crimea and parts of the Donbas.

Lyashko said that people with weak immune systems will be allowed to get another vaccine dose, which will not be considered a "booster shot."

Ukraine remains the third-least vaccinated country in Europe, according to the statistics website Our World in Data.

The World Bank announced on Dec. 10 that it will give Ukraine $150 million to help “prevent, detect and respond to the threats posed by Covid-19 and strengthen Ukraine’s national health system.”

Around $120 million will go towards helping Ukraine buy 16.5 million vaccine doses, enough to fully innoculate around 20% of the population.

The remaining $30 million will help the Ukrainian vaccination effort by developing IT systems, communication, public outreach and logistical networks.

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