Vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine is in running at full tilt, about two million Ukrainians have been vaccinated during four months. Currently, the AstraZeneca, CoronaVac and Pfizer vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization are used in Ukraine. The Ministry of Health is going to make about 10 million vaccinations against coronavirus by September 2021.
Information on vaccination against COVID-19 in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is "locked behind seven seals". It is known that they inoculate people with the Russian Sputnik V, which has not been recognized by the WHO. There is no information on how many vaccinations were done. There is also no clear vaccination plan there. Everything happens according to the principle: how many vaccines Russia supplies, they will do as much. It is no surprise that the "republics" have seen an increase in new cases of COVID-19 recently.
The coronavirus vaccine is already freely available in the controlled territory of Donbas. For example, mass vaccination centers, where you can get the vaccine on a first-come-first-served basis, work there at weekends. In addition, special vaccination points, located near the checkpoints, were opened for the CADLO residents.
It is worth noting that displaced persons from CADLO and Crimea can be vaccinated against coronavirus in the controlled area on general basis. You do not even need a certificate of an internally displaced person or a declaration with a family doctor for this.
OstroV analysed how the process of vaccination against coronavirus is going on in the occupied and controlled territories of Donbas.
Vaccination in CADLO
"It is almost impossible to sign up for vaccination. Now they say in all polyclinics that there are no vaccines freely available, only the second dose is vaccinated with, and even then it is not for all. We are all told that we can sign up for a waiting list at the polyclinic or on some website, and they will call us when the vaccine is available. Some doctors unofficially advise to travel to Russia and get vaccinated there without problems. There are special offices in shopping centers and on the streets where everyone is vaccinated without any queues. The only problem is where and how to get the second dose", - resident of occupied Donetsk Svitlana told OstroV.
She does not know how many people managed to get vaccinated against coronavirus in the "DNR".
"Nobody says that", - the woman complains.
Indeed, it is almost impossible to find official information on the number of people vaccinated in CADLO. But there are plans.
For example, occupation authorities of the DNR want to vaccinate about a million people with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine by the end of 2021, that is, almost 50% of the population. The last vaccination message on the official website of the so-called "Ministry of Health of the Luhansk People's Republic" was dated April 27. It says that about 30 thousand residents of the "LNR" have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and about 16 thousand more people received the first component of the vaccine. If you believe this statistics, then about 2% of the population was vaccinated in CALO during a few months.
According to deputy chief physician of the Luhansk Republican Sanitary and Epidemiological Station Yelena Andreenkova, the vaccine was received primarily by those categories that are in maximum contact with people in the course of their professional activities - medical workers, teachers, social workers and law enforcement agencies. Allegedly 70% of them were vaccinated.
In addition, there is no "official" information about the number of doses that were delivered to the CADLO territory. According to the occupation authorities, they received two consignments (in early and late February) of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
There is also no information about when the third party will arrive and in what volume. It is known that this can happen in July-September. Although not long ago, secretary of the general council of the United Russia party Andrey Turchak promised a new supply in June during his visit to occupied Donetsk.
"According to the response of the Ministry of Health, the third stage of vaccination is expected in the third quarter of 2021 (July-September). But if the vaccine is delivered earlier than this period, they will not store it, but will immediately continue to vaccinate controlled persons and Registered citizens", - Anastasia Selivanova, who calls herself a "DNR deputy", reported.
But given the current rate of the coronavirus spread in Russia, the delivery time may shift. The Kremlin is already talking about delays in the supply of the Russian Sputnik vaccine abroad due to the fact that it is necessary to satisfy its own needs.
"Since domestic consumption and satisfaction of domestic needs of vaccination of the Russian population is the absolute priority, now our manufacturers and departments are concentrating on it. Indeed, it is not possible to immediately satisfy absolutely all demands abroad, but all obligations will be fulfilled after the lapse of time", - press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov stated.
The pace of vaccination in Russia, which produces four drugs for coronavirus at once, leaves much to be desired. Only 11% of the population were fully vaccinated there (45% - in the USA and 33% - in Germany), so the country's leadership is gradually making vaccination mandatory.
Considering the above, it is not surprising that both Russia and the "authorities" of CADLO carefully conceal both the number of vaccinated and the volume of supplies.
For example, less than 300 thousand people received the first dose of the vaccine in the occupied Crimea, which Russia considers its territory (in contrast to the "DNR" and "LNR"). It was planned to complete the mass vaccination there by the beginning of the tourist season, but now the task is to vaccinate at least a million people by the end of the summer. However, this will happen in about a year at the current pace.
Therefore, where there will be such a number of vaccines in the "DNR" from remains a mystery.
OstroV asked local residents of the occupied territories to contact vaccination points and clarify when it will be possible to get vaccinated against coronavirus. All the answers boiled down to the fact that there is no exact information.
"Leave your data, you will be contacted. You can sign up on the website using the online form. We cannot say anything else. We ourselves are waiting", - was answered in one of the Donetsk polyclinics.
Indeed, everyone can sign up for the "DNR" vaccination. There is even an online form on the website of the so-called "Ministry of Health of the DNR", where you can enter all your data for vaccination. But this does not mean that you will be contacted the next day and invited for a vaccination. People complain on social media that they signed up a few months ago, but no one called back.
"I signed up for vaccination through the website in early March. After that, my neighbor signed up through the clinic and received the vaccine before me. Why then make this record online if it does not work? They did it so that fewer people would call polyclinics and disturb doctors. But it does not work in fact. I have not heard a single case of someone being called back and invited. In general, only military personnel, doctors, government officials and those who are lucky enough to pop up in the right place at the right time are vaccinated. It is impossible for ordinary people to get a vaccine here, full stop", - local resident of Donetsk writes in one of the social networks.
Vaccination in the controlled Donbas
The fourth stage of vaccination against COVID-19 is now underway in the controlled territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. It includes vaccination of those who live in the temporarily occupied territories. More than 150 thousand coronavirus vaccinations have been done in the controlled Donbas since the start of the vaccination campaign.
The vaccine can be obtained in several ways. For example, by contacting your family doctor.
You can also sign up for vaccination online as well: through the portal or the Diya application. To do this, you need to find section "Adding to the waiting list for vaccination against COVID-19", mark the field of activity and select the city and vaccination point where you want to receive the vaccine. As soon as it is your turn, you should receive a message inviting you to get vaccinated.
In addition, you can sign up through the National Contact Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine by calling 0 800 60 20 19 or 0 800 50 52 01. The Ministry of Health recommends using this method for residents of the occupied territories.
During the conversation, you will need to inform the operator from which settlement you are (specifying that it is now temporarily occupied), indicate your data and choose the most convenient vaccination point.
"The operator will make an appointment for vaccination and will send you an SMS message with a unique identifier if you have a Ukrainian phone number, or an e-mail if you do not have one", - the Ministry of Health notes.
They add that this identifier will also be transferred to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine so that a person can be freely allowed into the territories controlled by the government of Ukraine.
To schedule a second dose of vaccine, you will need to call the contact center again.
"Because of the actions of the Russian occupation regimes, our people found themselves isolated from the civilized world without the ability to provide basic human needs. First of all, we are talking about medical care. In fact, the occupation power carries out medical genocide, violating all the norms of international and humanitarian law. Since February of this year, the Ministry of Reintegration, together with the Ministry of Health, has begun work on a vaccination algorithm for our citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories. From today, I am pleased to announce the start of registration for vaccination", - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov said on June 3.
4 points, located near the checkpoints, were set for vaccination of the CADLO residents:
1. Buhas, 34 Tsentralna Street
2. Novotroitske, 11 Molodizhna Street (tel. 099 618 39 27),
3. Olhynka, 41 Shkolna Street (tel. 066 620 49 68),
4. Stanytsia Luhanska, 39 5th Line Street (tel. 0647221292, 0999654755).
Another way to get the vaccine is to go to one of the mass vaccination centers. It is more convenient because there is no need to make an appointment in advance. They work at the weekends and vaccinations take place on a first-come-first-served basis. It is very important that registration and actual place of residence do not matter. Residents of CADLO, as well as displaced persons, can receive the vaccine in any of the Ukrainian centers on a first-come-first-served basis.
"Registration does not matter. You just need to have a Ukrainian passport, tax payer number and mobile phone. We will vaccinate even if you do not have a declaration with your family doctor. The second dose of the vaccine will be assigned to you, so there is no need to worry. You will be able to receive an International certificate of vaccination after the second dose", - an employee of the Kyiv vaccination center at the International Exhibition Centre told OstroV.
It is not possible to choose a vaccine in these centers, they currently inoculate with the Chinese CoronaVac from the Sinovac company.
Currently, there are seven such centers operating in the Donbas.
In the Donetsk oblast:
1. Volnovakha - Volnovakha regional center of primary health care, 5 Matrosova St. Working hours: Saturday - Sunday from 9:00 to 15:00;
2. Kramatorsk - Center for primary health care No.1, 17 Dniprovska St. Working hours: Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00;
3. Mariupol - Center for primary health care No.2, 46a Troitska St. Working hours: Saturday-Sunday from 9:00 to 15:00;
4. Toretsk - Center for primary health care, 55 Tsentralna St. Working hours: Saturday - Sunday from 8:00 to 16:00;
5. Kostiantynivka - Center for primary health care, 161 Lomonosov Ave. Working hours: Saturday - Sunday from 9:00 to 14:00.
In the Luhansk oblast:
1. Sievierodonetsk - City Palace of Culture, 28 Chemists Ave. Working hours: Saturday - Sunday and holidays from 10:00 to 13:00;
2. Starobilsk - children's and youth sports school, 86a Tsentralna St. Working hours: Saturday - Sunday and holidays from 08:00 to 15:00.
In order to receive the vaccine, you must have your passport, identification code, mobile phone (to confirm the appointment for vaccination in the Diya application) and, preferably, a copy of the declaration with the doctor, if signed.
There is one problem - getting from the uncontrolled territory of Donbas to the controlled one. Checkpoints on the part of the occupied territories continue to operate in limited mode.
Only one checkpoint - Novotroitske - continues to operate in the Donetsk oblast. Occupation authorities of CADO open it only twice a week - on Monday and Friday from 9-00 to 16-00. You can leave the "DNR" only if you have registration in the controlled territory of Ukraine. It is possible to enter the "DNR" only by the decision of the so-called "Interdepartmental Operational Headquarters".
Occupation authorities of CALO opened only one checkpoint - Stanytsia Luhanska. It works daily, but only for walking. Exit from CALO to the controlled territory of Ukraine is allowed to everyone, but not more frequently than once a month. It is possible more frequently than once on the basis of decision of the "chairman of the emergency sanitary and anti-epidemic commission". The entrance of people into the "LNR" is allowed to those who have registration at the place of residence in the occupied territory. In other cases, the permission of the "working group" is also required.
"I would gladly take my parents to the controlled territory for vaccination against coronavirus. They basically do not mind. But it is not so easy to leave Donetsk today. The only working option is through Russia, and this is a very long and exhausting trip, especially in a heat wave. Therefore, all I can advise them is to be vaccinated with what they have in stock. If the checkpoints worked in the former mode, there would be no problems. Whoever has health and strength to come through Russia, it is better to do it and receive a vaccine that is approved and recognized by the world community", - displaced person from Donetsk complains Svitlana complains.
There are vaccines for the CADLO residents
According to director of the health department of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Volodymyr Kolesnik, the controlled territory is ready to vaccinate the residents of CADLO. There is a sufficient quantity of the vaccine.
"If people (from the occupied territories - ed.) have a desire, we are ready to vaccinate them", - he stated on June 3.
For example, when crossing the Novotroitske checkpoint in the Donetsk oblast, residents of the uncontrolled part of the region can be vaccinated in three nearby villages.
"Near this checkpoint, vaccination points are set in three outpatient clinics of the Primary Health Care Center of the Volnovakha district. These are the villages of Olhynka, Novotroitsk and the outpatient clinic of the village of Buhas", - regional vaccination coordinating officer in the Donetsk oblast Oleksandr Pedenko reported.
According to him, 1000 doses of the CoronaVac vaccine from the Chinese Sinovac company were booked for the residents of CADLO in the Donetsk oblast.
He added that the Ministry of Health held a meeting and warned all oblasts, "if people from the temporarily occupied territories contact them, they will need to be vaccinated with a second dose".
According to head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Pavlo Kyrylenko, residents of CADLO have already begun to sign up for vaccinations at the points closest to the checkpoints.
"The first persons who wish have already signed up for vaccination. I hope that as many residents of the occupied territory as possible will take advantage of this opportunity, for whom this is the only opportunity to receive a high-quality vaccine against covid", - he said.
As of June 29, 174 residents of CADLO signed up for vaccination against coronavirus in the controlled territory of Donbas (18 - in the Donetsk oblast and 156 - in the Luhansk). Of these, 55 have already been vaccinated.
Vladyslav Bulatchik, OstroV