Background. A dramatic drop in routine immunization coverage is observed in Ukraine during recent years. Ukraine has the lowest rate of vaccination in Europe that imposes a high risk of communicable diseases on a population. More than 56.000 people sickened with measles from 2018-2019 yrs. Although Primary Health Care providers (PHCPs) in Ukraine play an important role in administering vaccines to their patients the data about PHCP's awareness regarding immunization are lacking.

Methods. A self-administered survey among 265 PHCPs (44 doctors, 221 nurses) was conducted during Public Health Trainings from 01 March to 31 April 2019 in three Eastern Ukrainian regions (Zaporizhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv). The level of basic knowledge on vaccines schedule, safety and efficacy of vaccination, communication skills ect (totally ten statements and ten questions) were evaluated.

Results. Overall 264 (99.6%) PHCPs highlighted the obvious need in strengthening evidence-based knowledge related to immunization topics and communication skills. Right answers regarding safety and efficacy of vaccines were obtained in 21% participants, 47% PHCPs had doubts for vaccine's safety and contradictions. Only 8% of participants were convinced in aspects of effective communication. Physicians had higher knowledge scores in routine vaccines schedule (32; 73%), compared to nurses (105; 47.5%), p=0.0016; but did not differ in aspects of vaccine's safety: 16% among physicians’ vs 17% among nurses (p>0,05).

Conclusion. The majority of PHCPs in Eastern regions of Ukraine have concerns about vaccines safety and efficacy, as well as lack of communication knowledge. Effective continuing evidence-based education of providers may help address these concerns.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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