Vaccination in Ukraine is About to Start: Top Leaders Discuss Fight against COVID-19 at Ukraine 30 Forum

The All-Ukrainian Forum 'Ukraine 30. Coronavirus: Challenges and Responses' began with addresses from Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskyy. In this opening speech the President noted that this year was the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, and that after 30 years the country has reached the point for "a long-term, substantial and frank talk" about Ukraine's successes and mistakes, and its plans for the future. This event is just the kick-off for a series of forums in Ukraine about its reality and future. The forum was also addressed remotely by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

These opening addresses from these three leaders were followed by an intense press conference where President Zelenskyy mentioned that he would not be included in the first round of vaccinations in Ukraine (as that is mainly for medical workers) but that he would get vaccinated in the second round along with Ukraine's military, as their commander-in-chief.

The multiple sessions on day 1 of the forum covered the response of the world and the EU against COVID-19, international cooperation against the pandemic, the vaccination rollout, and how to increase public trust in vaccinations.

The first session was a dialogue between high-profile representatives who discussed responses to the virus. US Chargé d'Affaires Kristina Kvien highlighted US support for Ukraine; USA allocated almost 43 million dollars for Ukraine and not only medical support to combat the virus and start vaccinating, but also support to help small and medium-sized businesses weather the storm.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Olga Stefanishyna warned that the international...

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