AUA SPH Hosts Webinar ‘COVID-19: One-Year Review’

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On April 21, 2021, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a webinar on “COVID-19: One-Year Review” for the AUA community. The event was organized by the AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) country office in Armenia and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia (RA).

The speakers of the webinar were RA Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan (LL.M. ’04) and WHO representative in Armenia Egor Zaitsev; SPH Dean Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan facilitated the discussion. The speakers reflected on and discussed the COVID-19 pandemic during the past year, the scale and intensity of the virus in the region, as well as its impact on the quality of life of people in Armenia. Zaitsev presented the work WHO had realized in Armenia fighting the pandemic.

Minister of Health Avanesyan elaborated on the impact of COVID-19 on the Armenian healthcare system and how the system dealt with the multifaceted challenges it imposed. She presented the vaccination process and underscored the importance of timely and massive vaccination in the fight against COVID-19, also mentioning that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are already available in Armenia. As Avanesyan stated, priority will be given to the population aged 65 and older, as well as to individuals with chronic conditions aged 18-64 who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. However, according to a new ministerial order, individuals in the 18-64 age group without chronic conditions who wish to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine may do so on a voluntary basis and will not be denied. The Ministry of Health updates the regulation on the procedures for getting vaccinated based on the availability of different vaccines in Armenia.

The webinar participants, AUA students, faculty, and staff, had the opportunity to address their questions to the speakers. Mostly, the questions related to the quality and possible side effects from vaccines and the established procedures for getting vaccinated in Armenia. Araz Chiloyan from the Ministry of Health also answered questions from the audience. The participants of the webinar got necessary information about vaccinations from healthcare professionals, including registration for vaccination in polyclinics and availability of vaccination to both RA and foreign citizens.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research, and evaluation, health care delivery, and management.