According to press release given by Gorshenin Institute to UNIAN, before adopting any mandatory vaccination laws, Government should restore people’s trust in this procedure. This view was expressed by several experts interviewed by Gorshenin Institute for its survey regarding first vaccination law passed by Verkhovna Rada. The survey notes that in the past this field was regulated only by special program, adopted by the Cabinet. Vaccination of children, according to the Ministry of Health plan, will be mandatory and each child will from now on have to have special vaccination card containing all of information about vaccines given to the child. Without such document a child won’t be accepted to any public day care, kindergarten, school or university. About three billion hryvnyas are coming out of the federal budget to cover the implementation of this program.
Alexander Yermolayev, President of Institute for Social and Political Studies “Sofia” thinks that health care officials are trying to undermine the complexity of vaccination in the eyes of general public. Today it is perhaps one of the biggest challenges of out time. Each citizen now personally has to deal with military, heavy industries, food and drug industries. These industries push their product, they want monopoly and they play on people’s basic needs, most of all health which is a number one market. Vaccination is one example of such policies. Very often under the umbrella of big international humanitarian organization whose main goal is global disease control governments and companies are implementing their marketing strategies in search of high profits, says Mr. Yermolayev. He added that the problem in not the law itself but politicizing of health care. He thinks that vaccination is needed but it has to be accessible to all, open, fair and humane. One can understand why Ukrainians have been opposing vaccination so strongly over the last two years. We had a number of cases where it was clear that vaccination was nothing but marketing and a tool to make money. It is possible that we are dealing with international corruption and international lobbyism here. We have to come up with long term well balanced programs to strengthen our citizens’ immune systems on the principles of accessibility, open information and freedom of choice. Otherwise we will end up with a new monopoly and manipulation of public health policies that we have been observing for the last two years. Otherwise Ukraine will soon become a victim of the world health care and drug industry and a target for cheap experiments disguised as charity and various humanitarian programs.
Semyon Gluzman, human rights advocate, physiatrist thinks that vaccination in Ukraine is a very complex issue. Being a proponent of public mandatory vaccination he doesn’t think it’s feasible in Ukraine. There is no obligation to breathe or go to the bathroom. I think we have to implement sanctions, not punitive, not administrative. But if your child has not been vaccinated and has no medical reason not to be he or she should be rid of certain rights that other children enjoy. This will educate parents. But here we’ll have another problem – in this country where corruption flourish, parents will buy those vaccination certificates. And this is the problem of a total collapse and agony of the entire health care system. Also the expert voiced certain concerns about implementation of vaccination laws. “In my view everything that lawmakers are doing can be bad news for Ukrainians. Even when they make it look and sound good. I am a strong proponent of general vaccination, but this law is sheltering the Devil, I am afraid, - said Mr. Gluzman.
Tatyana Kondratyuk, Deputy Minister of Family Affairs, Youth and Sport sees this passing of this law as s positive step. Vaccination certificate control is a good thing. But before we pass any laws concerning mandatory vaccination we have to restore the trust of Ukrainian people in this procedure. We can not build a house without foundation. Mrs. Kondratyuk thinks that Ukrainians will benefit from this law since it targets disease and provides for epidemiological well being of Ukrainians. Naturally it is important to make sure it’s safe and performed in accordance to high standards. You can not save money on people’s health, crisis or not. Mrs. Kondratyuk added that it is important to use the money effectively to increase people’s trust in vaccination and it is absolutely necessary to use safe vaccines. The law stipulates a number of steps that will assure that. I want to believe that this law is not about getting profit and not push through with the help of lobbyists.
Former Minister of Health is not a proponent of centralized mandatory vaccination. I would do just the opposite. I would make this an open forum with discussions and round tables with medical experts and patients. If we are talking about civic society this should be a civic process. Lawmakers are trying to solve this issue with administrative tools but I’ve always been for more liberal, not administrative measures.