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Show your love, vaccinate: MOH and UNICEF encourage parents and caregivers to protect their children with vaccinations

25 April 2024
69

Kyiv, 25 April 2024 – To mark World Immunization Week, which runs from 24 to 30 April, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, together with UNICEF and partners, is reminding people about the importance of vaccination and working to make immunization services more accessible. Mobile vaccination teams of healthcare workers are operating in all regions, both at 'Spilno' spots run by UNICEF in Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Lviv, and in train stations, squares and parks, administering vaccinations according to the national vaccination schedule. Re-vaccination is also being conducted by mobile medical teams in Health villages.


In times of war, mass displacement and movement of people, the risk of the emergence and spread of diseases significantly increases," says Viktor Liashko, the Minister of Health of Ukraine. "The only safe and effective way to protect children and adults from dangerous infections is vaccination. In order to achieve herd immunity, 95 per cent of children should be vaccinated with all vaccines appropriate for their age, and no fewer than 80 per cent of adults should receive timely booster shots against tetanus and diphtheria. During World Immunization Week, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of timely vaccination for both children and adults. If any vaccination is missed, please make sure to get it done as soon as possible.

In 2023, according to data from the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 83.4 per cent of children under one year of age received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. In 2023, 84.9 per cent of children under one year of age received the polio vaccination.

Vaccinating is a way of showing care for children,” says Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative to Ukraine. “We encourage all parents to visit health facilities to get their children vaccinated and to learn more about immunization in other child-friendly spaces like Spilno Centers. The greater the number of people who vaccinate themselves and their children, the lower the risk to the health and lives of all children in Ukraine.” 

The list of Spilno Child Spots where mobile teams from the MoH will provide vaccinations for children and adults can be found here.

Children will be vaccinated according to the national vaccination schedule. Adults will be able to receive shots against measles, diphtheria, and COVID-19.

As well as receiving vaccinations, children who visit the Spilno Child Spots will be able to take part in exciting quizzes, and learn about viruses and bacteria, how they are transmitted and how to protect themselves. Participants will receive prizes. Pre-registration for the quizzes in Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Dnipro from 25 to 28 April is available here.

In 2023 and early 2024, at the request of the MoH, UNICEF delivered nearly 3 million doses of vaccines (polio, diphtheria-tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), COVID-19, hepatitis A) to Ukraine, procured with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Governments of Japan, the Netherlands and France, and the international COVAX initiative. In addition, UNICEF has been working with the World Bank, GAVI and USAID to update and enhance vaccine cold-chain infrastructure in Ukraine. Nearly 6,600 vaccine refrigerators and freezers have been procured and delivered to support effective vaccine storage at about 80% of vaccination points. UNICEF and USAID funding has also procured 36 refrigerator vans for vaccine transportation from regional storage facilities to vaccination points.

If you have any questions about vaccinations for children and adults, breastfeeding or optimal nutrition for children, please call the hotline on 0 800 351 8 96. Doctors and nurses are on hand to take calls from all over Ukraine and are available Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

INFORMATION

World Immunization Week is marked every year during the last week of April. It aims to emphasize the collective effort needed to combat vaccine-preventable diseases. 

The goal of World Immunization Week is to maximise the protection of children, adults and communities from diseases through widespread vaccination.