UCLA, Los Angeles, CA — The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in collaboration with the AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health, recently hosted a webinar titled “COVID-19 Vaccination: A Global Perspective” for epidemiologists, policymakers, and the larger public health community in the Republic of Armenia. The webinar aimed to share expert knowledge, prepare participants in communicating reliable information on COVID-19 vaccines to the public, and discuss messaging around COVID-19 vaccination in Armenia. The event brought together more than 100 attendees from the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), and other health agencies in Armenia.
The webinar was co-led by Dr. Alina Dorian, Associate Dean of Public Health Practice and Associate Professor at the Fielding School of Public Health, and Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, Dean of the AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health. It featured Dr. Shira Shafir, an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who presented the global picture of COVID-19 vaccination and then dived into the different COVID-19 vaccines offered in Armenia. She also engaged the audience in conversations around vaccination safety, information and misinformation, and the need for effective and inclusive communication to all sectors of the population.
The event was organized as part of the National Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program for the Republic of Armenia — a collaborative initiative among the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health, and the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Armenia — to enhance the surge capacity of Armenia’s existing public health system and to help limit the spread and adverse effects of COVID-19 in Armenia. The project includes professional development training opportunities and activities and continuous education and support for Armenia’s public health sector along with all partner agencies and other collaborating sectors. As part of this initiative, the UCLA and AUA teams have been working closely with Armenia's MoH and NCDC to support the establishment of a Call Center and a Public Health Emergency Operations Center. In addition, the program helps raise public awareness on COVID-19 and preventive measures, and ultimately addresses the overall current and future public health needs of the country.
The UCLA and AUA teams are committed to continuing ongoing training and scaling up the program in an effort to help Armenia address not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also prepare the country for a resilient future. This program is one of many projects under the umbrella of the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, which aims to address the needs of Armenia and ensure the health and safety of the population.