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UN supports vaccination of staff and their families against seasonal influenza

© UNICEF/2009/A.Popova
The boy was vaccinated together with his mother in the UN house in Kyiv

6 November 2009, Kyiv – The United Nations office in Ukraine organized vaccination of employees and families against seasonal influenza.  Vaccination is voluntary and is organized every year.

“Today we have organized a vaccination against seasonal flu for employees of the UN family agencies and their relatives. We are assured by WHO that vaccination is a safe and efficient method to protect our employees from seasonal influenza. I am happy that our employees have supported this initiative today”, - said Olivier Adam, UN Resident Coordinator, after got himself vaccinated.

Oleg Voronenko (United Nations Population Fund), is doing vaccination every year and is assured that it is most reliable way of protection against the seasonal flu virus. “I am very pleased that UN is taking care of health of the employees and organizes such vaccination. I support this initiative every year”, - he added.

«Recently I found out that in Sweden 70-80% of population is vaccinated against seasonal flu. Vaccination is not a universal cure against seasonal influenza. However, it is what everyone can do to protect himself from the virus. It is similarly to wearing a scarf during cold weather» - said Gaspar Bergman (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

© UNICEF/2009/A.Popova
UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Ukraine Dr. Anna Shakarishvili came to the vaccination with her family

«The doctor advised me to vaccinate whole family against seasonal influenza. I believe that is the right thing to do», - said Ricarda Reiger, UNDP Country Director. She came for the vaccination with two sons and husband. “I want to be first”, - said a 6-year boy, younger son of Mrs. Reiger arguing with his father who will be the first to go to the doctor.

According to Ministry of Health of Ukraine statistics (as of 8 November), 969 247 people have influenza or respiratory virus infections.

According to WHO, worldwide annual seasonal influenza epidemics result in about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. The most effective way to prevent the disease or severe outcomes from the illness is vaccination. Safe and effective vaccines have been available and used for more than 60 years. Among healthy adults, influenza vaccine can prevent 70% to 90% of influenza-specific illness. Among the elderly, the vaccine reduces severe illnesses and complications by up to 60%, and deaths by 80%.



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