Health Minister Viktor Lyashko announced the approval of booster shots for all fully vaccinated Ukrainian adults. The Ministry of Health has also eased the rules for mixing Covid-19 vaccines for the first, second, and booster doses.
Lyashko published the announcement on social media, citing the record-breaking numbers of infections in the U.S., France, Italy, UK, and Spain. On Jan. 4, the number of new daily infections worldwide exceeded 2.5 million, the highest number to date.
Initially Ukraine approved booster shots for citizens over 60. However, due to the growing concern over the Omicron coronavirus variant those restrictions have been lifted.
Upon receiving the booster shot, Ukrainians will get a new Covid certificate valid for 270 days starting from the day of re-vaccination.
Lyashko stated that the booster shot should ideally be administered between 6-9 months after receiving the second vaccine shot. Individuals with a compromised immune system are recommended to get a booster shot 3-6 months after a full course of vaccination.
The booster shot certificate will be available in the government Diia app starting in late January, according to Lyashko.
The minister also added that no matter what vaccine the person received prior, the main vaccines used for booster shots will be the mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna.
Earlier, Ukraine changed its protocol for mixing different Covid-19 vaccines during the main course of vaccination. Now, Coronavac can be mixed with AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer.
The government also authorized the use of AstraZeneca as the second dose after an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer). In this case, a minimum of 28 days must pass between the doses.
As of Jan. 6, Ukraine has fully vaccinated over 13.9 million people, or 37% of its total population and 45% of its adult population. Ukraine's vaccination rate remains one of the lowest in Europe.
All adult Ukrainians and foreigners with residence permits can get vaccinated for free at one of the mass vaccination centers or a local clinic. See the list here.