Fear, corruption, economic woes cause low vaccination rates in Ukraine _ stirring polio fears

from The Washington Post, Europe..

June 18, 2013

Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine — When the time came to vaccinate her 4-year-old daughter, Yelena Hlushko hesitated, spooked by widespread fears in Ukraine about vaccines and by a boil her older child developed after an immunization shot. Eventually she decided to follow the government’s recommendation — only to find her local health clinic was out of the vaccine.

A combination of suspicion, funding problems, alleged corruption and inefficiency leave Ukraine with the lowest vaccination rate of the 15 former republics of the Soviet Union, even though it is one of the best developed — and the rate has fallen sharply in recent years. International health officials warn that the problems leave Ukraine vulnerable to an outbreak of polio, a disease that Europe has largely stamped out.

Only about half of Ukraine’s children are fully immunized against polio, measles, rubella and other diseases that vaccines can prevent, despite a government policy calling for free universal vaccination, according to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency. That compares with a rate of some 90 percent or higher in most Western European countries…

Link to the entire article:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/fear-corruption-economic-woes-cause-low-vaccination-rates-in-ukraine-_-stirring-polio-fears/2013/06/18/bea6258e-d7df-11e2-b418-9dfa095e125d_story_1.html

 

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