UNICEF organized information sessions on COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers and school administrators in Adjara
Batumi, Georgia, 28 May 2021 – Teachers from schools in Adjara, local medical personnel, and local media representatives gathered to learn more about various aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination through information sessions organized by UNICEF, in partnership with the National Centre for Disease Control and the Ministries of Health and Education of Adjara. The sessions were led by prominent doctors and public health experts, and were aimed at informing local community leaders about the latest updates on national immunization programmes and the COVID-19 vaccination.
The vaccination of teachers is critical in order to protect them from community transmission and to help keep them healthy so they can continue the inspiring work they do in the classroom. School shutdowns related to COVID-19 have already had an enormous impact on students. The most marginalized have paid the heaviest price – not only because of the impact on their education, but also on their physical and mental health, nutrition, and safety. Schools are particularly critical to children’s education, protection, and well-being, and they need to remain open.
The information sessions were facilitated by prominent Georgian doctors including: Bidzina Kulumbegov, Medical Doctor at the Centre of Allergy and Immunology; Ivane Chkhaidze, Chair of the Paediatric Department at Tbilisi State Medical University; 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 Centre for Disease Control and Public Health. The opening remarks at the meeting were delivered by: Ms. Nino Nizharadze, Minister of Health of Adjara; Ms. Maia Khajishvili, Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport of Adjara; and the UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil.
At the meetings, the doctors and healthcare professionals discussed a variety of topics including: general immunization trends in Georgia and the situation regarding vaccine-preventable diseases; COVID-19 in Georgia and global trends, risks, and preventive measures; the importance of immunizations and COVID-19 complications among children; and the vaccination of patients with chronic heart and respiratory system conditions.
"Vaccination of key frontline workers, such as teachers and school administration, will ensure children and their families regain continued access to education and social life at schools." - Ghassan Khalil
UNICEF Representative Ghassan Khalil addressed the teachers and stressed the importance of keeping schools safely open for children.
“Immunization is crucial in combating this pandemic which is affecting every one of us,” he said. “Vaccination of key frontline workers, such as teachers and school administration, will ensure children and their families regain continued access to education and social life at schools, which has been severely disrupted. UNICEF, along with other partners such as WHO and GAVI, are supporting the Government of Georgia in the implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Programme,” Khalil added.
UNICEF has been supporting the Government in shielding children and families from the immediate and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. The work has combined the immediate response to the outbreak, including measures to prevent transmission, with long-term measures to safeguard the services that are crucial for the healthy and happy development of every child.
UNICEF has facilitated engagement with COVAX on COVID-19 vaccines upon the request of the Government of Georgia. UNICEF has also been supporting in building trust in vaccines by engaging with communities and addressing misinformation and other barriers.
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/