UNICEF launches a new initiative targeting frontline medical workers to boost immunization rates in Georgia
BATUMI, Georgia, 2 April, 2022. Up to 3000 frontline health workers including family doctors, rural doctors, general practitioners and paediatricians, will receive advanced information about COVID-19 vaccination and general immunization as a result of a joint initiative launched today by UNICEF in partnership with the Union of Georgian Medical Associations. The Ministry of IDPs, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, the National Centre of Disease Control and Public Health, the national health authorities and the local governments are also supporting the initiative.
The first meeting with the frontline health workers from Adjara region was organized in Batumi in collaboration with the Adjara Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
The project facilitates a series of discussions with frontline health workers in large cities and municipal centres in nine regions of Georgia. The discussions will be led by the Union of Georgian Medical Associations and will provide doctors with necessary, evidence-based information around COVID-19 vaccines as well as with knowledge, skills and resources to help in their role to generate demand for COVID-19 vaccines and routine immunization among their patients, parents and caregivers.
“As vaccine recipients, providers and champions, health workers are essential to successful uptake of COVID-19 vaccine”, said Amy Clancy, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Georgia. “Health workers are the most trusted source of COVID-19-related information in Georgia and they can influence patients’ vaccination decisions. UNICEF’s role in promotion of COVID-19 vaccination has been instrumental since the launch of the National Vaccination Programme as we have supported the Government of Georgia in promoting vaccination amongst main gatekeepers, including health personnel and teachers”, added Clancy.
The health professionals in nine regions will be updated about evidence-based clinical aspects of vaccination (including COVID-19 vaccine) and trained in inter-personal communication skills and approaches. The meetings will be led by prominent medical and public health professionals.
According to the UNICEF’s Real Time Monitoring Survey carried out in December 2021, around 33 per cent of unvaccinated respondents remained unlikely to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and 35 per cent were undecided. The primary reasons for not vaccinating were concerns of side effects, vaccine safety and existing health problems.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/