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Coronavirus

Ukraine Lawmakers Vote to Fire Health Minister

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to dismiss the health minister who has faced criticism for the slow pace of the nation’s coronavirus vaccination effort.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal held Health Minister Maksym Stepanov responsible for the failure to quickly procure more vaccine. Shmyhal says the nation of 41 million people so far has received only 2.3 million doses, and only 948,3300 Ukrainians had received at least one shot as of Tuesday.

Stepanov argued in his defense that the ex-Soviet nation has faced tough competition as nations try to procure vaccines amid the pandemic. Supplies of the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine were suspended after infections in India surged.

Ukraine has registered more than 2.1 million infections and 48,469 deaths from COVID-19.

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