UNICEF delivers over 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Ukraine under COVAX

29 November 2023
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UNICEF

Kyiv, 29 November 2023 — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has delivered 203,000 doses of the updated Pfizer vaccine, specifically designed to target the Omicron COVID-19 strain and its variants. The delivery is part of the international COVAX Facility.  This vaccine can be used in adults and children aged 12 and older.

COVID-19 is highly contagious with potentially long-term consequences and high mortality. According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), in the first week of November 2023, more than 9,000 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Ukraine.

“It is essential to vaccinate yourself, your children and those at higher risk like older family members and with chronic diseases to be able to protect your loved ones and the entire community from COVID-19,” said Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “The vaccines delivered by UNICEF are approved by the World Health Organization, demonstrating efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and mortality.”

It is important to vaccinate children from the following risk groups:

  • Children with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease; 
  • Children with obesity.

"The updated vaccine is specifically designed to target the Omicron СOVID-19 strain. Currently, over 13 strains of the coronavirus are circulating throughout Ukraine. All identified mutations deviate from the Omicron strain which prevails in the country.  The booster vaccination campaign continues, with UNICEF delivering more than 200,000 doses intended for people who have already completed the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination. These booster doses will be available at the regional level, so I urge everyone to take care of their health and strengthen their immunity, especially people at risk — those with weakened immune systems or comorbidities, and those over 60 years old," said Ihor Kuzin, Deputy Minister of Health and Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine.

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UNICEF

COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people over 60 years old and/or with chronic diseases, including bronchial asthma, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Families living amongst the elderly or people at risk should also be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Immediate vaccination is recommended for healthcare workers who see patients daily and are therefore at risk of getting infected  or infecting others.

Vaccination is available at dedicated points in primary health care facilities and at 22 mass vaccination centres across Ukraine.  COVID-19 vaccine can be received on the same day with seasonal flu vaccination.

The newest batch of COVID-19 vaccines has been delivered to Ukraine by UNICEF under COVAX, an unprecedented global solidarity initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.

UNICEF continues providing vital vaccines for Ukraine to strengthen the healthcare system in the country and ensure vaccination.

 

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Notes to editors

In 2022 and 2023, to support immunization in Ukraine, UNICEF procured over 2.89 million doses of vaccines (polio vaccine, Hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus for adults and children, measles-mumps-rubella, BCG for tuberculosis, pentavalent vaccine, rabies) at the request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Furthermore, UNICEF bolstered the cold chain at all levels from national and regional stores to vaccination points:

  • UNICEF, under the COVAX initiative, purchased 26 freezers to be installed at national and regional levels to strengthen the immunization chain.

  • Almost 5,200 vaccine refrigerators and freezers procured with World Bank funds and under installation will support safe vaccine storage at vaccination points.

  • To ensure vaccines are available, including in the most affected regions, UNICEF, with its own funds and USAID funds, procured 36 refrigerator vans for vaccine transportation to regions and individual vaccination points.

  • In addition, vaccine carriers and cold boxes for vaccine storage and transportation to over 2,500 vaccination points and 800 mobile teams were distributed across Ukraine.

To ensure the vaccination process, UNICEF has already delivered almost 6.2 million syringes to Ukraine in 2023.

Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine

About UNICEF

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.org  

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