The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has delivered 600,000 doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and 99,720 doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to Ukraine, with financial assistance from the Agency United States for International Development (USAID) and the Government.
Ukraine received the vaccines free of charge as part of humanitarian aid.
“About a year ago, we recorded an outbreak of polio in Ukraine, so we started additional immunization activities,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Medical Officer Ihor Kuzin . “Currently, the threat of the spread of poliomyelitis is here to stay and has even worsened because of the war. That is why our priority is to ensure that all children who need it are vaccinated. I am grateful to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for consistently helping our country and its future.” – said Deputy Minister of Health and Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin.
“The Ukrainian health system is facing incredible challenges,” said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “With our partners, we are working to ensure that, despite the war, children and adults in Ukraine receive timely protection against infectious diseases. The polio outbreak in the country is ongoing – if your child has missed their polio vaccination, be sure to catch up as soon as possible.
Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by the poliomyelitis virus which affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis or even death. The paralysis can be lifelong, and many polio victims become disabled from the disease. Five to ten percent of paralyzed people die due to respiratory muscle damage.
In the absolute majority of cases, the carriers of poliomyelitis, who spread it, cannot be detected due to the absence of any signs of the disease. Poliomyelitis is passed from child to child and can infect them without any symptoms until it paralyzes an unvaccinated child.
All unvaccinated people can contract poliomyelitis, adults and children alike.
Poliomyelitis is incurable, but it can be effectively prevented by vaccination.
There are two types of safe and effective vaccines:
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) – given by injection.
Oral polio vaccine (OPV) – two drops in the mouth.
According to the Ukrainian vaccination schedule, a child receives 6 doses of polio vaccine – at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, 6 years and 14 years.
The first two vaccinations are given with the IPV vaccine (intramuscular injection) and the other vaccinations are usually given with the OPV vaccine (drops in the mouth). OPV is a live vaccine that contains live weakened poliomyelitis. Thanks to this vaccine, local immunity is also formed in the intestine, which prevents the spread of the virus.
UNICEF in Ukraine
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