Ukraine urges citizens to get vaccinated as COVID-19 toll hits new record

Ukraine's health minister urged more citizens to get vaccinated as coronavirus deaths hit a daily record of 734 on Tuesday, with hospitalisations up more than a fifth on the previous week. The countries with the lowest vaccination rates in Europe are almost all located in the east, including both former Soviet states such as Russia and Ukraine and ex-communist members of the EU such as Romania and Bulgaria.


Reuters | Updated: 26-10-2021 18:21 IST | Created: 26-10-2021 17:58 IST
Ukraine urges citizens to get vaccinated as COVID-19 toll hits new record
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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  • Ukraine

Ukraine's health minister urged more citizens to get vaccinated as coronavirus deaths hit a daily record of 734 on Tuesday, with hospitalizations up more than a fifth on the previous week. One of Europe's poorest countries, Ukraine fell behind in the race for vaccine supplies this year and so far only around 7 million in a population of 41 million are fully vaccinated.

It is one of several countries in formerly communist eastern Europe, where vaccination rates are the continent's lowest, now experiencing a record-setting wave of infections with some of the highest death rates in the world. In a bid to combat vaccine hesitancy, Ukraine has made vaccinations compulsory for some government employees such as teachers. The unvaccinated face restrictions on access to restaurants, sports, and other public events.

The new regulations appear to have had an effect - 1.5 million Ukrainians got either a first or second shot last week, twice as many as the week before. Long queues have been seen at some vaccination centers. Half of the country's regions have tightened lockdown restrictions after falling into the "red zone" classification.

Health Minister Viktor Lyashko told a briefing that 94% of patients requiring hospital treatment were not vaccinated. Two-thirds of beds with oxygen supplies were occupied. "The situation with hospitalizations is getting rampant," Lyashko said. "I call on all of you to get your vaccine. We can and must stop these sad statistics."

Ukraine has registered a total of 2.8 million coronavirus cases and 64,936 deaths since the start of the pandemic. After a lull in the summer, the daily rate of new cases has jumped to around 16,000-20,000 in recent weeks, including 19,120 in the past day. The countries with the lowest vaccination rates in Europe are almost all located in the east, including both former Soviet states such as Russia and Ukraine and ex-communist members of the EU such as Romania and Bulgaria.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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