Vaccination of Ukrainian Refugees: Need for Urgent Action

Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Sep 29;75(6):1103-1108. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac276.


The unprovoked aggression of Russian military forces on Ukraine in February 2022 has caused a high influx of refugees, including children, to neighboring countries, particularly Poland. This caused additional pressures on the healthcare system and the need to meet challenges for public health, such as those related to infectious diseases. Here, we discuss the potential epidemiological risks associated with the war-induced influx of refugees (coronavirus disease 2019, measles, pertussis, tetanus, and poliomyelitis) and highlight the need for their swift management through institutional support, educational campaigns, counteracting antiscience misinformation, and pursuing vaccinations of refugees but also improving or maintaining good levels of immunization in populations of countries welcoming them. These are necessary actions to avoid overlapping of war and infectious diseases and associated public health challenges.

Keywords: infectious diseases; pandemic; public health; vaccine hesitancy; war refugees.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Communicable Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Poliomyelitis* / prevention & control
  • Refugees*
  • Vaccination