(Adds arrival date of AstraZeneca vaccine)
KYIV, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Ukraine expects 15 million Novavax coronavirus vaccine doses to start arriving in the country from July, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Monday.
Ukraine lags behind most European countries in securing COVID-19 vaccines and has yet to start mass inoculations.
“We have been confirmed (by manufacturer India’s Serum Institute) that it is possible to supply an additional 5 million doses of the vaccine... The total amount of Novavax vaccines that we expect in Ukraine is 15 million,” Stepanov said on Facebook.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said this month Ukraine had secured 12 million doses developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax from the Serum Institute.
Stepanov, who visited India this weekend, said on Sunday that the first batch of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was on its way.
A senior presidential official said on Monday the doses were likely to arrive on Tuesday.
Ukraine, which has registered more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases and 25,156 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.
Stepanov said last week vaccine purchases were being hampered by “dirty information attacks” that have triggered a corruption investigation against his ministry.
He denied wrongdoing after the anti-corruption agency NABU launched an inquiry this month into the procurement of China’s Sinovac vaccines through an intermediary importer. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Nick Macfie)