Europe

Ukraine plans mandatory COVID-19 shots for some jobs

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Employees use disinfectant while cleaning the Ukrainian lawmakers' working places to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the session hall of parliament in Kiev, Ukraine March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

KYIV, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Ukraine is planning compulsory coronavirus vaccinations for some jobs including teachers and employees of state institutions and local governments, Health Minister Oleh Lyashko said on Wednesday.

The new requirements would be introduced after a final decision by the ministry in coming days.

"We propose to start the introduction of mandatory preventive vaccinations against acute respiratory disease COVID-19," Lyashko said during a televised government meeting.

Ukraine is tightening lockdown restrictions from Thursday after a sharp rise in the number of infections.

It has imposed a nationwide "yellow" code which restricts mass events and limits occupancy rates at gyms, cinemas and other venues.

Schools, universities and companies with fully vaccinated staff are allowed to work without restrictions.

Ukraine, with 41 million people, is lagging behind European neighbours with vaccinations - only 5.2 million people have received two shots so far.

The country has reported 2.4 million infections and 55,161 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Nick Macfie

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