UNICEF delivers over 650,000 doses of polio vaccine to Ukraine

07 April 2023

KYIV, 6 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. 

Ayadil Saparbekov, Chief Health and Nutrition UNICEF Ukraine
Ayadil Saparbekov, Chief Health and Nutrition UNICEF Ukraine

“Polio vaccination is critical, especially in the context of the continued war. Due to massive population displacement, people miss routine vaccinations according to the immunization schedule and do not receive medical care in time, which makes protection of children and adults from the spread of disease much more difficult. We must ensure the vaccination campaign that the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Ukraine started in February 2022 goes on,” stressed Igor Kuzin, Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor.

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.

UNICEF safely delivers vaccines to Ukraine: the vaccine is stored at appropriate temperatures during the delivery.


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.

Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine


UNICEF works in some of the world’s most difficult and challenging places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable 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