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Ministry of Health of Ukraine will start measles vaccination of adults in at-risk groups

6 June 2018

The recent amendments to current legislation have been made to enable free vaccination of certain groups of adults at increased risk for getting measles. Before, MMR vaccines procured at the national level were only used to vaccinate children, not for adult immunization.

The decision to offer adult vaccination for measles was taken in view of an increase in the number of measles cases among adults. Since the beginning of the year, the proportion of adults with measles has increased to 40% of all patients. In particular, the prevalence rates were recorded amongst the following high-risk groups: people living in a common space (military, ATO fighters, students), educators and doctors.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has ordered an additional 392 thousand doses of measles vaccines for the prevention purposes. Additional vaccines will be procured for the savings made by international organizations during medicine procurement for the 2017 budget funds. Relevant regulation on an adult immunization procedure will be adopted shortly.

According to the Public Health Center (PHC) of Ukraine, the country has been battling a measles outbreak since the beginning of 2018, reporting a total of 19 249 cases – 7 825 adults and 11 424 children. As of May 31, 2018 eleven people died from measles complications – seven children and four adults.

As of May 31, 2018 about 954 000 doses of MMR vaccine (Priorix vaccine, Glaxo Smith Kline Biologicals s.a) are available in Ukraine, and more deliveries of this safe and effective vaccine are expected in future.


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