Vaccination against measles: the situation in the community and why parents refuse vaccinations?

In Ukraine, since July 17, a nationwide campaign for catch-up vaccination against measles for children who missed the vaccination has been underway. Of the 260,000 children who missed vaccinations according to the Preventive Vaccination Calendar, only 65,817 citizens were vaccinated (as of August 26, 2023).

Unfortunately, there are parents who deliberately refuse to vaccinate their children against measles. Among the typical reasons for refusing vaccination are religious beliefs, hope for "natural immunity", fear of side effects, etc. However, vaccinating children with the CPC vaccine is mandatory in the Preventive Vaccination Calendar and is safe for the child's health.

 In our country, there is a risk of an outbreak of measles, which is a serious infectious disease. A person who has contracted measles eventually faces serious consequences. During the last measles epidemic in Ukraine (2017-2019), 115,000 citizens fell ill, 41 of whom died. The question of vaccinating children on the eve of the school year is especially acute, because the infection spreads quickly in crowded places and small groups. Currently, vaccination is the only reliable way to protect yourself and your child from the disease. In addition, to acquire collective immunity, at least 95% of people must be vaccinated. Epicomplications associated with this infection are cyclical in nature and occur in Ukraine every 4-5 years. Given the periodicity of measles, experts foresee the possibility of a measles outbreak already this year, when children will return to school in organized groups and be in close contact. 

In 7 months of 2023, 30 cases of measles have already been registered in Ukraine, 1 of them in our region. Thanks to timely anti-epidemic measures, it was possible to prevent the spread of the infection, to localize and eliminate the foci of the disease.

It should be remembered that measles is one of the most contagious infections in the world, which is transferred airborne. This means that out of 10 unvaccinated people who came into contact with the sick person, 9 will get sick.

In order to prevent the outbreak of measles, the Ministry of Health launched a national vaccination campaign against this infection.

This campaign has two goals:

1) "vaccinate" against measles all unvaccinated children who, for various reasons, missed the scheduled vaccination;

 2) ensure that all children receive scheduled vaccinations on time. According to the National calendar of preventive vaccinations, the first vaccination against measles is given to a child at 12 months, and at 6 years - revaccination. These two doses protect the body against the disease.

On the territory of Koryukivka and Kholmy united territorial communities, the total number of unvaccinated children is 53. The campaign started in July this year. However, unfortunately, we observe low rates of vaccination. Only 9 children aged 7-17 were vaccinated, which is only 12% of the planned cohort. Of them, 42 children did not receive any vaccination, 11 received only the first vaccination at 1 year. In the event of an outbreak of measles, this category of children is the highest risk group. Therefore, it is very important to cover the maximum number of children with vaccinations in order to minimize the layer of the unvaccinated and thus reduce the risks of spreading the disease.

Koryukiv Center of Family Medicine  in sufficient quantity provided with high-quality and effective vaccine, which immediately protects against three dangerous infections - measles, mumps and rubella. The vaccine is safe, produced in the USA and Belgium, no adverse reactions and complications have been registered during its use. Vaccination can be carried out free of charge in the vaccination offices of the medical institution at the place of residence.

Internally displaced Ukrainians can vaccinate themselves or vaccinate their children in state medical institutions in the settlements where they are located. It is not necessary to sign a declaration with a local doctor for vaccination.

Within the framework of this campaign, support and cooperation from educators and children's parents is important. There is no medicine against measles, the treatment is aimed only at eliminating the symptoms of the disease. However, it can be prevented or minimized by vaccination. In the conditions of war, vaccination is a matter of national security, since the health of Ukrainians - all together and each one in particular - is one of the country's priorities.

According to the information of the Koryukiv city-district department of the Chernihiv regional center for the control and prevention of diseases 



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