(right) Three-and-a-half-year-old Anastasia Veretka smiles prior to receiving a vaccine at a medical facility in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine, Thursday 16 March 2017..
Ukraine last year had one of the lowest routine immunization coverage rates in the world. As of December 2016, according to data from Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, only 45.5% of children in Ukraine were fully immunized against measles, only 29%, against hepatitis B, and only 23% of against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. About 60% of children under one-year are fully immunized against polio. A number of factors have contributed to the decline in vaccination coverage in Ukraine over the past years, including distrust by the public and media of vaccines and immunization services. Additionally, a shortage of vaccine supplies compounded critically low immunization rates. To address this, at the request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, UNICEF procured a number of high quality certified vaccines to protect children against dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases.