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04/06/2021
What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines
https://www.unicef.org/eca/stories/what-you-need-know-about-covid-19-vaccines
Vaccines save millions of lives each year. The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a huge step forward in our global effort to end the pandemic and to get back to doing more of the things we enjoy with the people we love. We’ve gathered the latest expert information to answer some of the most common questions about COVID-19…, How do COVID-19 vaccines work?, Vaccines work by mimicking an infectious agent – viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause a disease. This ‘teaches’ our immune system to rapidly and effectively respond against it.  Traditionally, vaccines have done this by introducing a weakened form of an infectious agent that allows our immune…, Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?, Yes, even though COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as rapidly as possible, they must go through rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and effectiveness. Only if they meet these standards can a vaccine receive validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies. UNICEF will…, How were COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?, Thanks to the unprecedented investment in research and development and global cooperation, scientists were able to develop safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 in record time. All the standard safety procedures and rigorous regulatory standards were maintained. In addition to the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in many countries around…, Which COVID-19 vaccine is best for me?, All WHO-approved vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at protecting you against severe illness from COVID-19. The best vaccine to get is the one most readily available to you!  , Will the COVID-19 vaccines work against the new variants?, WHO says that the vaccines approved to date are expected to provide at least some protection against new variants. Experts around the world are continuously studying how the new variants affect the behaviour of the virus, including any potential impact on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Should any of the vaccines be shown to be less…, Who should be vaccinated first?, As there is not enough manufacturing capacity in 2021 to meet all global needs, not everyone will be able to get the vaccine at the same time. Countries must identify priority populations, which WHO recommends are frontline health workers (to protect health systems) and those at highest risk of death due to COVID-19, such as older adults and…, When shouldn’t you get a COVID-19 vaccine?, If you have any questions about whether you should receive a COVID-19 vaccine, speak to your doctor. At present, people with the following health conditions should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine to avoid any possible adverse effects: If you have a history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are currently…, Should I get a vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?, Yes, you should get vaccinated even if you’ve previously had COVID-19. While people who recover from COVID-19 may develop some natural immunity to the virus, we do not yet know how long it lasts or how well you are protected. Vaccines offer more reliable protection.  , Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?, Researchers are currently studying COVID-19 vaccination in breastfeeding women, but there is still limited information at this time. WHO advises that vaccinations are offered if a lactating woman is part of a priority group for vaccinations, for example if you are a health worker. Breastfeeding can continue after vaccination and remains one of the…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?, Although the overall risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remains low, pregnancy puts you at higher risk of severe illness compared to people who are not pregnant. Research is still ongoing to understand the safety and effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women, but there is no known reason that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination…, Can COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?, No, you may have seen false claims on social media, but there is no evidence that any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can affect fertility in women or men. If you are currently trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  , Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?, Children’s immune systems are different from those of adults and can vary significantly depending on their age. At present, WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for anyone under the age of 16-18 years (depending on the individual vaccine), even if they belong to a high-risk group. Children were not included in the…, When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in my country?, The distribution of vaccines is underway globally and the vaccine availability varies by country. We recommend checking with your health ministry to get the latest information for your country. On behalf of the COVAX Facility, UNICEF is procuring COVID-19 vaccines and delivering them around the world to make sure no country is left behind. Our…, What is COVAX?, COVAX is part of a global effort aimed at accelerating the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access around the world. No country will be safe from COVID-19 until all countries are protected. There are 190 countries and territories engaged in the COVAX Facility, which account for over 90 per cent…, I’ve seen inaccurate information online about COVID-19 vaccines. What should I do?, Sadly, there is a lot of inaccurate information online about the COVID-19 virus and vaccines. Misinformation in a health crisis can spread paranoia, fear and stigmatization. It can also result in people being left unprotected or more vulnerable to the virus. Get verified facts and advice from trusted sources like your local health authority, the …, Can COVID-19 vaccines affect your DNA?, No, none of the COVID-19 vaccines affect or interact with your DNA in any way. Messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines teach the cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside the body. This response produces antibodies which keep you protected against the virus. mRNA is different from DNA and only stays inside the cell for about 72…, Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain any animal products in them?, No, none of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines contain animal products.  , How can I protect my family until we all receive a COVID-19 vaccine?, Safe and effective vaccines are a gamechanger, but it is still not clear the degree to which they can protect us against infection and transmission. For the time being, even once vaccinated we need to continue taking precautions to protect ourselves and others. This includes wearing masks, physical distancing and regular handwashing. This article…
06/09/2021
Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on children and families in the Western Balkans and Turkey
https://www.unicef.org/eca/mitigating-impact-covid-19-children-and-families-western-balkans-and-turkey
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking an unprecedented toll on children and families, There is abundant evidence that children bear a heavy burden resulting from disrupted essential services, increased social isolation, and loss of family income. In pandemic times, parents and caregivers are more likely to feel overwhelmed with providing stimulation and care for their young children and delay seeking prompt medical attention for…, strengthen national health, education, early childhood development, and child protection systems to ensure continuity in the provision of core services for vulnerable children and their families in the immediate and the longer-term recovery response to COVID-19., The initiative is being implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* [1] , Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.  , Action and impact, On 15 July 2020, a caregiver hugs a three-year-old girl at Hana and Rozafa, a state-run residential centre in Tirana, the capital city of Albania. 6 October 2021 -, UNICEF Albania, and University in Prishtina in partnerships with the European Union signed a new agreement : To, improve access to mental and psycho-social health services, for children Sanela runs the phoneline service, which was launched as one of the services within the “Mladost” Children’s Home in Bijela. 3 August 2021 – In, Montenegro, , within the project a universal SOS phoneline is set up to, provide professional counselling and assistance to children and young people., A baby girl receives her vaccination at a clinic in Serbia. 5 July 2021 – In, Bosnia and Herzegovina, , UNICEF and EU support is helping parents to keep their, children’s vaccination  , schedules, up to date. , Father reads book to his son. 29 June 2021 – In, Montenegro, , UNICEF’s   #ParentChat programme teaches Mums and Dads, positive parenting techniques that help in stressful times., How UNICEF and EU will support children and families, The European Union’s contribution of €5 million will help to ensure the continuity and quality of essential services in a context of epidemiological restrictions, while building durable national capacities that deliver quality services for children and families. The work at local level is aligned with the national needs and priorities and includes:, Strengthening the continuity of essential health and nutrition services and capacity of health service professionals., Activities will include research and analysis, technical support to ensure community of essential services and commodities, support for development of national guidelines and innovative platforms that enable parents to access information on newborn care, breastfeeding, nutrition and immunization, as well as capacity building of…, Strengthening the continuity of child protection services and capacity of social work and social service professionals, to better identify and respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families by creating access to child protection services and   mental health and psycho-social counselling., Strengthening education services through capacity development of, teachers in delivering quality and inclusive learning through digital learning for all children. Support will include developing teacher training, guidance, adapting inclusive high-quality teaching materials to local languages, and capacities of and providing advice to policy framework to improve the effectiveness and quality of distance learning., Supporting early childhood development (ECD) services and the capacity of ECD professionals., Emphasis is placed on expanding and improving the quality of tools and digital resources and that support children, their caregivers, and wide range of ECD practitioners. Innovative solutions will include, for example, online learning platforms for pre-school children and for children with developmental difficulties, and a smartphone app that can…, Expected results, Over this two-year initiative, across the Western Balkans and Turkey Continuation of vaccination services during COVID-19. 78,500 children and 84,000 caregivers will benefit from the continuation of essential maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services. Girl is attending the centre to continue her education during COVID-19 pandemic.…, Contact for more information, Ivelina Borisova, Regional Adviser, Early Childhood Development