The vaccines in question were ordered through UNICEF. Cooperation between the Healthcare Ministry and UNICEF continues: the Ministry has ordered through the organization 22 types of antiretroviral drugs and eight more types of vaccines required for routine immunization. Public funds were saved, vaccines distributed across Ukraine.
Kyiv, August 31, 2016. Ukraine has received anti-tuberculosis vaccine (BCG), ordered by the Ministry of Health through UNICEF. “Today we have to thank our partner, UNICEF, for collaboration and delivery of 2.5 million doses of anti-tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) […] Supply of BCG vaccine helps overcome its acute shortage and create conditions for the implementation of the routine immunization program in Ukraine,” said Uliana Suprun, Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Now the delivered vaccines are at the Ministry of Healthcare (MOH) depository, and the order on their distribution around the regions is under preparation. “They will be distributed within five days. We will report on our website how many doses were sent to what regions,” noted Ms. Suprun. The distribution of vaccines at the regional level can take several more days. “We have a hotline, we have a website. If you hear from a doctor that there is no vaccine but you can see on the website that it should be – write to us. Then we will apply directly to the area to ask whether we should deliver more doses and what happened to those that have been sent,” she added.
Giovanna Barberis, Head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine, said that the Ministry had ordered 22 ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) and eight types of vaccines, required for routine immunization, through their organization. “The vaccines are all prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), some of them were already registered in the country, some of them not and are obtaining registration,” she noted. As of today, another 2 ARVs are waiting for registration. “The last delivery of vaccines is ordered for the next week. By mid-September all the vaccines ordered in 2015 will have been delivered to Ukraine,” added Ms. Suprun.
“I appeal to parents, workers and heads of medical institutions not to delay vaccination. Vaccines have been purchased and the greater part has been delivered to Ukraine. Vaccinate your children to protect their lives. We critically need to raise the level of vaccination in Ukraine to the European level,” she stressed. Uliana Suprun and Giovanna Barberis reminded that currently Ukraine has the lowest vaccination rate in Europe and one of the lowest in the world. Careless attitude to immunization led to outbreaks of polio last year and two cases of tetanus over last month.
Uliana Suprun reminded that the MOH had purchased medicines and vaccines worth UAH 2.2 billion during the procurement cycle through UNICEF, UNDP and Crown Agents. “According to the NGOs we cooperate with, we saved 790 million. We will use the money to buy more vaccines and medicines for children with cancer and orphan diseases,” she said. Giovanna Barberis noted that ARVs would allow over 45,000 patients to get continuous treatment. “This progress in procurement of vaccines and other drugs can lead to restoration of routine immunization program (…) We are working together on establishing transparent and efficient national procurement system,” emphasized Ms. Barberis. She reminded that UNICEF does not receive any profit from this cooperation. Instead, this year the organization has spent USD 500,000 to deliver medicines to Ukraine and the regions.
Suprun also reports that in September the MOH expects to begin ordering vaccines for next year. “We finish preparing a contract on the procurement of vaccines and other medicines in 2016. The sooner we finish this work, the faster we will be able to purchase vaccines – before their supply in the warehouses has finished,” said Giovanna Barberis.