UNICEF Organized Information Sessions on the COVID-19 Vaccination in the Samtskhe Javakheti Region
Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia, 14 May 2021 – Religious leaders from the Georgian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, doctors in Akhalkalaki and Akhaltsikhe, and local media representatives gathered to learn about various aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination through information sessions, which were organized by UNICEF with support from USAID. The sessions were led by prominent doctors and public health experts and aimed to inform local community leaders about the latest updates on the national immunization programmes and COVID-19 vaccination. The meetings with religious leaders in Akhalkalaki were organized in partnership with the Georgian Patriarchy and Armenian Apostolic Church.
The visit to the Samtskhe-Javakheti region was intended to support the National Center for Disease Control to implement the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy. At the meetings, the representatives 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.
The meetings were facilitated by multiple prominent medical experts, including: Bidzina Kulumbegov, Medical Doctor at the Center of Allergy and Immunology; Ivane Chkhaidze, Chair of the Pediatric 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 Center for Disease Control and Public Health. The opening remarks at the meeting were delivered by the UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil. The Director General of the National Centre of Disease Control and Public Health, Dr Amiran Gamkrelidze, joined the meeting with doctors from Akhaltsikhe and discussed vaccination challenges related in the region.
"UNICEF, along with other partners such as WHO and GAVI, are delighted to support the Government of Georgia in implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Programme." - Ghassan Khalil
“UNICEF, along with other partners such as WHO and GAVI, are delighted to support the Government of Georgia in implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Programme,” said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “Immunization is crucial in combating this pandemic which is affecting every one of us. Children have also been seriously impacted. The vaccination will ensure children and their families regain access to education, health and protective services, which has been severely disrupted. But the vaccination alone will not end the pandemic. We need a diverse set of tools to help slow the spread of COVID-19, including diagnostics and treatments, as well as a continuance of preventive measures such as hand washing, physical distancing, and mask wearing,” Khalil added.
With the support of USAID and other partners, 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 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/