Ukraine receives first Covid-19 vaccine doses
After several delays, Ukraine on Tuesday finally received its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines and said it would start inoculations "as soon as possible".
The country of 40 million people is one of the poorest in Europe and one of the last in the region to begin a jab drive.
A plane carrying 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, produced at the Serum Institute in India -- the world's largest vaccine maker -- landed at Kiev's Boryspil airport.
"It has arrived," health ministry spokeswoman Sofia Fedchenko told AFP.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter that his country "will start vaccination ASAP".
Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Facebook that the vaccines will undergo "urgent" routine cargo checks in the airport and then "immediately" sent the regions "so that we can start vaccinations".
He was due to detail the ex-Soviet country's vaccination strategy at a press conference later Tuesday.
The health ministry on its website has set out a five-stage jab rollout. In the first stage, it plans to use mobile teams to innoculate around 367,000 people in priority groups.
They include healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients and vulnerable risk groups, including people aged 60 and over, and those with chronic illnesses.