Ukraine reports polio vaccination coverage was 80% in 2021


news desk @bactiman63

In one follow-up of the last case of poliomyelitis in Ukraine last month, the Public Health Center of Ukraine reports that overall polio vaccination coverage was 80% in 2021, which is not enough for the formation of herd immunity.

Image/PHC Ukraine

The lowest level is in the Odessa (70%), Zakarpattia (69.8%), Lviv (64.8%) oblasts. The highest is in Sumy (92%), Mykolaiv (91.9%) and Kyiv (96%) oblasts.

Due to the fact that in recent years the level of polio vaccination coverage has not exceeded 80%, the country has accumulated a critical mass of children without an immune response to poliovirus, which can only be acquired through vaccination.

In October 2021, the first case of poliomyelitis in the Rivne region was registered in Ukraine. According to research conducted at the Helsinki Regional Reference Laboratory, a one-and-a-half-year-old girl was infected with a poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) vaccine. And in January this year, a second case was reported in a child from Transcarpathia, caused by the same type of poliovirus.

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According to the WHO, the spread of the virus will stop if more than 95% of children in the country are vaccinated against poliomyelitis. So far, only 7 oblasts have come close to this result. In the first ten months of 2021, the actual level in the country was only 53%. After the outbreak was announced, the border areas managed to raise the level, but we still have disappointing consequences.

Ukrainian children under the age of 6 who have not received or missed the polio vaccine are at risk. In order to provide each child with individual protection against poliovirus infection, a polio vaccination campaign has been launched on February 1, 2022.