Ukraine signed a contract to buy over 1.9 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

A statement by the presidential office said the Ukrainian Health Ministry has been negotiating with Sinovac since September.

“We have already signed the first contract for the supply of the vaccine – no longer a memorandum, but a contract for more than 1.9 million doses. This is a Chinese vaccine that has been tested in Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey,” President Volodymyr Zelensky was quoted as saying in the statement.

The exact date for the arrival of the shots is yet to be clear.

He also reminded that Ukraine had already secured the free procurement of eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX program, an international initiative for equitable access to vaccines around the world. The authorities are trying to increase the number, though, he added.

Ukraine on Wednesday reported 9,699 new cases of novel coronavirus, with total number of infections exceeding 1 million since the start of the pandemic.

As many as 209 people lost their lives over the past day, raising the nationwide death toll to 18,533.

*With contributions by Iclal Turan in Ankara

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