By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The European Regional Polio Eradication Certification Commission (RCC) has assessed the risk of transmission in the event of the importation of wild poliovirus or the emergence of a vaccine poliovirus (cVDPV) in 41 countries in the region. The risk in Ukraine was classified as high.

Image/Ukraine MOH

As of the first 5 months of this year, only 30% of children in the first year of life who need mandatory vaccinations have received all 3 doses of polio vaccine.

The polio vaccination coverage rate in Ukraine is insufficient to reach 95% by the end of the year. Vaccination is the only way to avoid the complications caused by polio. According to WHO recommendations, if a sufficient number of people in the country are vaccinated (over 95%), the spread of the virus will stop. Conversely, if children remain unvaccinated in the country, it can lead to the spread of the virus and new cases.

Polio is an acute infectious disease. The poliovirus spreads from person to person through feces and saliva, most often through dirty hands, infected food and water.

Every unvaccinated child and adult can get polio. But children under the age of five are most susceptible to the polio virus. Therefore, children receive the first vaccination in the first months of life.

In 2019, more than 78% of children under one year of age were vaccinated in Ukraine. The same figure among children under 18 months. Among 6-year-olds, coverage was just over 80%. Also, more than 80% of children were vaccinated in the age group of 14 years.

Polio is characterized by damage to the central nervous system and paralysis, which can lead to death.

Polio cannot be cured. But it is vaccination that prevents this deadly disease.