Ukraine continues to report measles at high levels–more than 1,300 cases reported in the past week– and they continue to strongly encourage the public to get vaccinated, even calling immunization a matter of national security.
Since the beginning of the year, 35,233 Ukrainians have suffered from measles and 15 people have died, including 11 children.
Health ministry officials say stopping the outbreak requires herd immunity, a level that has not been achieved. When at least 95% of Ukrainians are vaccinated against measles, the cases will go down and protection from the deadly disease will include those children and adults who can not be vaccinated for medical reasons.
The greatest increase in measles is observed in those areas where the level of coverage by the planned vaccination is the smallest : in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Transcarpathian and Lviv oblasts.
Ministry officials say to the public:
- Check your vaccine card: two doses of the MMR vaccine protects against measles throughout your life, and in case of illness – significantly reduce the risk of severe complications.
- If you do not remember when and what vaccinations have been made to you or your child and you have not stored medical records about the vaccine, contact your GP – pediatrician or family physician. Checking for immunity from measles, rubella and mumps can be done using laboratory tests.
- If you or your child missed either or only the second dose of the MMR vaccine according to the Vaccine Calendar, contact your health care provider as soon as possible to receive the vaccine. The MMR vaccines are free of charge for all children and adolescents under the age of 18, as well as for adults at risk : physicians, educators, students, military, members of the Joint Operations.
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