TBILISI, Georgia, 13 September, 2022. Over 2000 frontline health workers including family and rural doctors, general practitioners, pediatricians and members of the professional medical associations, received advanced information about COVID-19 vaccination and general immunization as a result of a joint initiative of UNICEF and the Union of Georgian Medical Associations. The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, the National Centre of Disease Control and Public Health, the national health authorities and the local governments also supported the initiative.
The project facilitated a series of discussions with frontline health workers in large cities and municipal centres across the country. The discussions were led by the Union of Georgian Medical Associations and provided 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.
The health professionals in nine regions were updated about evidence-based clinical aspects of vaccination (including COVID-19 vaccine) and trained in inter-personal communication skills and approaches. The meetings were 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.
Communication Specialist, Head of Communication Section