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​Health Ministry suggests criminalising vaccination refusal

Ulana Suprun says it is an international practice.

​Health Ministry suggests criminalising vaccination refusal
Photo: Photo: Depositphotos/belchonock

The Health Ministry has suggested the refusal to vaccinate children should be made punishable, acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun told parliament on Friday, 19 January.

"As our next steps [on the prevention of measles]... we will need to amend the laws of Ukraine that regulate the issue of vaccination to tighten responsibility for the refusal from vaccination as is done in the civilized world," she said.

She said the current outbreak of measles in the country was the result of a drop in the rate of immunisation against measles below 50% in recent years. In 2017, the Health Ministry managed to overturn the trend and bring the vaccination rate among children to 77.8%, Suprun said.

There is no criminal or administrative responsibility in Ukraine for the refusal from vaccination.

Three people have died of measles since the beginning of the year, and five in the past year. The highest incidence was in Ivano-Frankivsk – 275, Chernivtsi– 274, Transcarpathian Region – 194 and Odesa Region – 157.

Kyiv health authorities reported 174 measles cases during this period.

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