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Procuring oxygen in Poland, mortality among the vaccinated, and boosters for everyone—the main thing from Liashko’s interview

Minister of Health Viktor Liashko's interview to Ukrayinska Pravda on October 26. Photo: UNIAN

Minister of Health Viktor Liashko's interview to Ukrayinska Pravda on October 26. Photo: UNIAN

Minister of Health Viktor Liashko gave an interview to the outlet Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth from Ukrainian), in which he explained why doctors were not made to be compulsorily vaccinated; where the Ukrainian medical system is underperforming; how to achieve the set goals in 70% of vaccinated Ukrainians; what is happening in Ukraine with oxygen and boosters, and the like. The Page publishes the highlights of the conversation.

Liashko on the promise to vaccinate 70% of the population by year-end

To date, just over 7 million Ukrainians have been vaccinated with two doses of the coronavirus vaccine (which is about 18.5% of the population). The Minister says that his promise to immunize 70% of citizens, made while still in the position of the Chief Sanitary Doctor, the health care system may well fulfill. The only problem—enough people willing to vaccinate.

According to official data, from the beginning of the vaccination campaign until October, there were 119 deaths of people vaccinated against coronavirus in Ukraine.

"This is the number of people who experienced serious adverse events following immunization within a month after an injection, in particular, deaths. But this figure is meaningless. If you look at the number of people who die in Ukraine over a certain period of time... For example, one person dies from a stroke every 6 minutes. And it can happen in an elderly person who came to get the vaccine, and in the queue for the vaccine, and 5 minutes after it."

Viktor Liashko

Viktor Liashko

Chief Sanitary Doctor

Liashko on why there are no doctors in the list of professions subject to mandatory vaccination

First of all, the Minister notes that imposing a list of professions subject to mandatory immunization against COVID-19 fosters people to get vaccinated more. He explains why there are no medical workers on this list, but did not rule out that this will be done later.

"Any document is accepted taking into account the risks. The risk of a medical worker being denied access to the workplace outweighs the risk of potential infection. If in a small regional center with a central regional hospital, God forbid, there is a situation whereby two anesthesiologists do not want to get vaccinated, then there will simply be no medical assistance in this settlement."

Viktor Liashko

Viktor Liashko

Chief Sanitary Doctor

According to his data, currently 50% of doctors in Ukraine are vaccinated.

Liashko on revaccination in Ukraine

According to the Minister, there is still no single decision on administering a third dose or a complete re-vaccination. Meanwhile, the National Technical Expert Group recommends the use of a booster dose for immunocompromised people (those who have acute leukemia, are on immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapy during vaccination, etc.).

«We will 100% have a free or booster dose available for everyone, or a repeated double vaccination, if necessary. Why do I say that we will 100% have it? Because I have almost signed contracts, or rather documents of intent, for the supply of vaccines for the next 2022—2023.»

Viktor Liashko

Viktor Liashko

Chief Sanitary Doctor

Lyashko procuring oxygen in Poland

In general, 35 enterprises produce oxygen in Ukraine (23 of them are medical, 12 are technical). Those infected with the "delta" variant require 2 to 4 times more oxygen daily than patients during the previous waves, so the need for this agent has increased significantly. In addition, the other day, two leading oxygen producers stopped for routine maintenance, so the Ministry of Health has found a way out in procuring it from abroad.

«Considering that it (the plant that produced oxygen and was suspended—The Page) in the west of Ukraine, we got in touch with Poland: this is faster than bringing oxygen from Donetsk, Luhansk, or Zaporizhzhia regions. The Ministry of Infrastructure rather quickly, in one day, issued all the necessary permits, and the distributor supplying this oxygen brought a couple of vehicles from Poland and delivered them to hospitals.»

Viktor Liashko

Viktor Liashko

Chief Sanitary Doctor



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