UNICEF delivers over 650,000 doses of polio vaccine to Ukraine
UNICEF spokespersons in Ukraine are available for interview
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KYIV/DUBLIN, 8 April 2023 – UNICEF delivered 543,000 doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and 110,160 doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to Ukraine as a part of its efforts within the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This is another batch delivered by UNICEF since the beginning of the 2021 polio outbreak in Ukraine to ensure that children are protected against this deadly disease. keep the immunization response running.
“UNICEF is committed to helping Ukraine strengthen its healthcare system, including immunisation services, even more in this difficult time. The polio outbreak can’t wait and needs to be addressed promptly. There is no cure for polio, but it can be effectively prevented by vaccination. If your child missed their polio vaccination, please make sure to catch up as soon as possible,” said UNICEF Ukraine Representative Murat Sahin.
Polio is a highly contagious disease caused by the virus that affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis or even death. Paralysis can be lifelong, and many polio victims become disabled as a result of the disease.
Since the war escalated, UNICEF’s humanitarian response efforts in Ukraine have received unprecedented support from individuals and companies across Ireland, and UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power emphasised the importance of this critical vaccination work continuing, “The horrific war in Ukraine has impacted the lives of every child in the country. Vaccination is one of the most effective public health interventions, and tragically, due to millions of people being forced from their homes, children across Ukraine are now at increased risk of missing their routine vaccinations, and therefore suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as polio. Across the world, polio, which was once the main cause of childhood paralysis, has reduced by 99% since 1988 and UNICEF helps vaccinates over 400 million children from the disease annually. However, we know that to eliminate polio completely, every child in every household must be vaccinated. That is why our vaccination efforts must continue – no matter the challenges we face.”
All unvaccinated people can get polio – both adults and children. According to the Ukrainian vaccination schedule, a child receives 6 doses of the polio vaccine – at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, 6 years, and 14 years.
Note to Editors:
In 2022, to support immunization in Ukraine, UNICEF procured over 2 million doses of vaccines (inactivated polio vaccine, oral polio vaccine, Hepatitis B, tetanus-diphtheria, diphtheria-tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, BCG for tuberculosis, pentavalent vaccine, rabies) at the request of the Ministry of Health and National Health Service.
In addition, UNICEF bolstered the cold chain at all levels from national and regional stores to vaccination points:
- Almost 5,200 vaccine refrigerators and freezers procured and under installation will support safe vaccine storage at vaccination points.
- To ensure vaccines are available in the most affected regions, UNICEF procured 30 refrigerator vans for vaccine transportation from national to oblast and from Oblast to vaccination points.
- In addition, portable cold boxes for vaccine storage and transportation for over 2,500 vaccination points and 800 mobile teams were distributed across Ukraine.
- To ensure the vaccination process, UNICEF has already delivered 3.5 million syringes in 2023.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.ie
For more information, please contact:
Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070, email@example.com