Ukraine's acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun said at a briefing on the occasion of the European Immunization Week, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform.
"Vaccination, without exaggeration, is a national security issue in Ukraine. This is the most successful and cost-effective strategy to prevent 28 serious infectious diseases. The more developed the country is, the more vaccines are stipulated by its healthcare for children and adults," Suprun said.
Today, the Ukrainian immunization schedule includes 10 vaccines, while the EU, North and South America immunize against at least 13 infectious diseases.
According to WHO recommendations, 95 percent of the child population should be vaccinated.
Due to vaccine refusals by parents, poor awareness of the consequences of such refusals, and the anti-vaccination campaign in the media, Ukraine is now the world's least immunized country. Suprun says that negative effects of this are being already experienced in Ukraine.
According to Suprun, thanks to UNICEF's procurement of vaccines, Ukraine currently has enough vaccines, including in the regions. The acting minister advised parents who are denied a vaccine to address the regional state administration or, if no response is received, the Ministry of Health.