UNICEF delivers 657,000 doses of measles vaccine to Ukraine

17 July 2023

KYIV, 17 July 2023 — UNICEF delivered to Ukraine another 657,000 doses of the combination measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) to support Ukraine’s National Immunization Programme. 

"No specific medications exist, but effective prevention does: you can protect children and yourself from measles with vaccines. If your child missed the routine calendar shots, you need to catch up. UNICEF has delivered these vaccines to Ukraine," said Muhammad Tariq Iqbal, UNICEF Ukraine Immunisation Specialist.

Measles is a dangerous disease that can cause disability or death in children and adults. For pregnant women, the virus can induce premature labour and cause low birth weight.

Measles is among the most contagious diseases — up to nine out of ten unimmunized people will be infected after contact with a sick person. Cases of measles were confirmed in Ukraine this year. During the war, due to overcrowding, for example, in bomb shelters, the risk of measles infection is increasing.

"The Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization, puts all their efforts to prevent an outbreak of measles in Ukraine. Throughout the summer, thanks to joint efforts of the partners in the regions, those children who have missed one or two vaccinations will be vaccinated,” said Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin. "Measles is an infectious disease that is transmitted extremely fast, as one infected child can infect up to seven unvaccinated children on average before symptoms appear. The vaccine will be delivered to all regions of the country, following the requests of the regions.”



Two doses of the MMR vaccine, given at 12-months and six years-old, provides effective protection against measles.

“Having a sufficient vaccine stock and timely immunization is the key to preventing measles outbreaks. WHO, together with partners, is working to make vaccines available to everyone”, said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine. “This is essential to protect children and adults in Ukraine from vaccine preventable diseases. In particular at the time of war, we constantly support nationwide outreach campaigns as well as conduct various trainings for health care professionals. The busses that we handed over to the Ministry of Health are already being actively used by mobile medical teams in remote rural areas to carry out vaccinations against measles, COVID-19, tetanus and diphtheria.”


Media contacts

Viktoriya Hrubas
Communications Officer
UNICEF Ukraine


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  

Follow UNICEF Ukraine on  FacebookInstagram Twitter та TikTok.