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This guideline is intended to provide a brief summary of background and health issues for newly arriving Ukrainian refugees. See UNHCR situation report Ukraine for background
Russian troops had been located along the Ukrainian border from March 2021, with estimates of 100,000 troops in place by December 2021. On 24 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine from the north (Belarus), east (Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and south (Crimea). More than a million people left Ukraine within the first week of the conflict, and by 15 Mar 2022 (19 days later), more than 3 million people had fled. Current (Feb 2023) UNHCR estimates more than 8.1 million Ukrainian refugees have fled into European countries and are now dispersed widely. Current figures include 2.8M people displaced into Russian Federation, 1.56M in Poland, 881,000 in Germany, 485,000 in Czech Republic, around 160-170K in Italy, Spain and the UK, and 100-120K in France, Romania and Slovakia. See summary, including maps.
Australia has now granted more than 9500 visas for people from Ukraine, and nearly 4500 of this cohort have arrived in Australia. As of 13 Jun 2022, around 900 Ukrainians had arrived in Victoria, and around 230 people from Ukraine arrived in the second half of 2022. This has been a situation of hyper-acute displacement, with differences to other humanitarian cohorts:
There are around 46,000 Ukrainian Australians (2016 Census), predominantly living in Melbourne and Sydney, also with communities in other areas. See DHA community information summary.
Medicare fact sheet (available in Ukrainian)
Management of covid-related risk remains a priority in the post-arrival period. Ukrainian covid vaccination coverage was low in early 2022 (~ 35%), and early covid vaccination should be prioritised. Overseas vaccines should be recorded on AIR (this is possible without Medicare) and vaccine certificates organised.
Quarantine requirements for new arrivals to Victoria ceased in April 2022 (including for unvaccinated arrivals).
The onshore immigration medical examination (IME) for Ukrainian arrivals applying for a 786 visa is limited, related to the 786 being a temporary visa (noting the IME is more comprehensive for the Afghan arrivals who are transitioning onto permanent visas). It consists of:
All new arrivals should have an initial health assessment and catch-up vaccination. Timing may be affected by access to Medicare. This assessment should occur even if they have had the (limited) BUPA IME assessment.
The Ukrainian vaccination schedule includes: BCG, DTwP, Hib, Hepatitis B, OPV/IPV, MMR and influenza vaccine
Translated catch-up information: Pre-immunisation checklist, Vaccine safety - Ukrainian, Vaccine side effects, Catch-up summary (City of Melbourne resource, informal translation - but excellent interim resource),
Immigrant health clinic resources. Author Georgie Paxton, Feb 2023 - Contact: email@example.com