UNICEF organized COVID-19 vaccination of teachers and tourism sector representatives in Adjara
Batumi, Georgia, 23–24 July 2021 – Teachers from three municipalities of mountainous Adjara region and representatives from Batumi’s tourism sector participated in a two-day vaccination event organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs and Education, Culture and Sports of Adjara and learned about COVID-19 vaccination. The event was led by prominent doctors and provided crucial information about COVID-19 vaccination to teachers and to representatives of the tourism sector and to engage them in the COVID-19 vaccination process.
At the meetings preceding the vaccination drive, leading doctors and healthcare professionals answered questions from the audience on a variety of topics. Several concerns were addressed including the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia and global trends, risks and preventive measures, the importance of immunization and COVID-19 complications among children, and the vaccination of patients with allergies, chronic heart conditions and respiratory conditions.
The meetings were facilitated by prominent medical experts: Bidzina Kulumbegov, Medical Doctor at the Center of Allergy and Immunology; Zviad Kipiani, Head of the Cardiology Department and President of the Georgian Heart Failure Association; and Khatuna Zakhashvili, Head of the Department of Communicable Diseases of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. The opening remarks at the meetings were delivered by Ms. Nino Nizharadze, Minister of Health of Adjara, Ms. Maia Khajishvili, Minister of Education and Science of Adjara and UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil.
"Children must regain continued access to education and social life at schools, which has been severely disrupted." - Ghassan Khalil
UNICEF Representative stressed the importance of immunization and on keeping schools safely open for children. “Immunization is crucial in combating this pandemic which is affecting every one of us,” said Dr. Ghassan Khalil “Vaccination of key frontline workers, such as teachers and tourism sector representatives, is essential to ensure that the tourism season does not cause worsening of the epidemiological situation and subsequent lockdowns as the new school year approaches. Children must regain continued access to education and social life at schools, which has been severely disrupted. Schools should prioritize in-person learning and enforce key hygiene measures to ensure a safe school environment.” Khalil added.
Disruption of the education systems have had a negative effect on children all around the world. From learning loss, mental distress, exposure to violence and abuse, to missed school-based meals and regular immunization, and reduced development of social skills: the consequences for children will be felt in their academic achievement and societal engagement as well as physical and mental health. The most affected are often children in low-resource settings, who do not have access to remote learning tools, and the youngest children who are at key developmental stages.
If children are faced with another year of school closures, the effects will be felt for generations to come. Hence why it is important to ensure vaccination of teachers, school administrators and other groups in the society, such as tourism sector representatives.
UNICEF has been advocating for COVID-19 vaccination among different groups of the society in the Adjara Autonomous Republic, such as teachers, doctors, religious leaders and community representatives. The information meetings on COVID-19 immunization followed by actual vaccination were organized in Adjara between May and June 2021.
UNICEF Georgia has been supporting the Government of Georgia in carrying out routine immunization programmes and has facilitated engagement with COVAX on COVID-19 vaccines upon Government’s
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/