Despite the russian aggression against Ukraine, the Ministry of Health is working to provide Ukrainians with vaccines.
This year, Ukraine received 223,000 doses of influenza vaccines as humanitarian aid (60,000 doses under the PiVi initiative, and 163,000 doses as humanitarian aid from Sanofi).
Additional 30,000 doses through the PiVi mechanism will be delivered in the period of December 22 to 29. The corresponding allocation has already been approved.
The vaccines will be distributed throughout Ukraine, even in the regions that are partially occupied (except Luhansk region).
All the vaccines available in Ukraine protect against the viruses that are circulating this year. That is, only this year’s vaccine should be used, because it is the only one that is effective this season. Last year’s vaccine is ineffective and will not build immunity.
How many doses can be supplied to the private market?
Preliminarily, according to the State Medical Service, 150,000 doses of the vaccine should enter the commercial market. Currently, 50,000 are already in pharmacies.
The main problem of why manufacturers do not supply as much vaccines to pharmacies is insufficient demand. After all, the practice of vaccination against influenza in Ukraine is not so widespread.
Who is to be vaccinated in the first place?
Influenza vaccination is not included in the National Calendar, and therefore is not mandatory and is not free of charge. However, the state is working to protect risk groups. This year it is pregnant women, healthcare workers and the security sector, i.e. the military.
“The Ministry encourages all citizens to get vaccinated, because even in the conditions of a full-scale invasion, the health of Ukrainians is our priority. When a person is vaccinated, it potentially reduces the burden on the healthcare system. Less burden on the healthcare system due to vaccination means more resources for the treatment of our defenders,” said Deputy Minister of Health Ihor Kuzin. “It is the duty of conscious citizens to help the state in difficult times so that the state helps those who need it most.”
Vaccinations can be carried out throughout the flu season. Usually the season lasts from October to May of the next year. Immunity is formed in 7-14 days.
Who should vaccinate as a priority?
First of all, vaccination is recommended for people who are in the following risk groups:
Influenza is an acute viral disease that most often affects the respiratory system, it can be severe, and cause complications: pneumonia, otitis, sinusitis, meningitis, and may even lead to death. Young children belong to the most at-risk group for influenza.