Vaccination is a superpower against diseases. Make time to vaccinate children before the start of the school year!

25 August 2021
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UNICEF

In a new information campaign, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Ukraine, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), calls upon Ukrainian parents to get the necessary vaccination for their children before the start of the new school year. 

As the beginning of a new school year is approaching, many children will return to kindergartens and schools after the holidays. The only effective way to protect them from dangerous and often incurable diseases is vaccination. Under the National Routine Immunization Calendar, children are protected against 10 infectious diseases: pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, haemophilia type b (HIB infection), hepatitis B and polio.

While the regional facilities are fully provided with the required number of vaccines, the pace of vaccination is slow. According to the Public Health Centre, by the end of the first half of this year, only 38 percent of 6-year-olds had been vaccinated against polio and 31.6 per cent, against diphtheria and tetanus.

«The pandemic is negatively affecting the pace of routine immunization, and this happening in many countries around the world,» said Ihor Kuzin, Deputy Minister of Health and Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine. «But last year showed that even at the peak of COVID-19, we can have a high level of vaccination coverage against vaccine-preventable diseases. We encourage family doctors and paediatricians to remind their patients and their parents about vaccination, and we ask parents to take care of their own health and that of their children so that they can safely enjoy their childhood, and play and study with their peers.»

Paralysis, heart and brain damage, and pneumonia are some of the possible complications of polio, diphtheria, measles, if vaccination does not occur in time. The Government procures all the vaccines stipulated by the National Routine Immunization Calendar, so all every parent has to do is to see a family doctor or a paediatrician. Answers to all questions about vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic can also be found on www.vaccination.org.ua 

«Every child has the right to health and education. Before the start of the school year, children should receive routine vaccinations according to the national calendar. In addition, I encourage all teachers and parents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We know that vaccines work, I got vaccinated. Let’s join hands to make education uninterrupted and our schools a safe place for every child » — said Murat Sahin, UNICEF’s Representative in Ukraine.

Immunization prevents 2–3 million deaths worldwide each year. Another 1.5 million people can be saved if vaccination coverage increases. To draw the attention of Ukrainians to the routine immunization of children and adults, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health, with support from USAID and UNICEF in Ukraine, has launched the information campaign Vaccination is a superpower against diseases.

«Ukraine has made significant progress in expanding access to routine immunizations in recent years, and COVID-19 calls us to redouble our efforts to ensure every child gets the vaccines they need,» said James Hope, USAID/Ukraine Mission Director. «This campaign uses engaging, data-driven content to highlight the importance of immunization, and calls on everyone to help increase confidence in vaccines in order to protect their communities and loved ones.»

The first stage of the campaign has been launched in August 2021. During this stage, videos, billboards and other information materials will remind parents why children need to be vaccinated according to the National Routine Immunization Calendar, especially during pandemics.

Visual materials and videos can be downloaded here.

The second stage of the Vaccination is a superpower against diseases campaign will address the problems of adult vaccination.

 The campaign was supported by USAID Transformation Communications Activity.

 

UNICEF

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