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Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak. Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak.

Covid-19: Prime Minister Ruak Calls for Timorese to Follow his Vaccine Lead Featured

DILI: Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak had Timor-Leste’s first COVID-19 shot on Wednesday, part of a bid to boost public confidence as the country seeks to inoculate its population. 

Vaccinating Timor-Leste’s population is seen as key to stemming the spread of the coronavirus, getting doses to everyone in the country and curbing public distrust around vaccines are challenges.

"I am the first person who has been vaccinated using the AstraZeneca vaccination, because of that I urge all Timorese people to participate ,” Ruak said.

“The vaccine is very safe and has the ability to create immunity from the COVID-19 virus,” Ruak added after he was vaccinated live on Timor-Leste television.

Timor-Leste, with 485 active cases of COVID-19 and one death, has not been as hard hit as first feared, but aims to vaccinate most of its people this year if it can get support to purchase vaccines.

The World Health Organisation-backed COVAX vaccine sharing campaign can meet 20 per cent of Timor-Leste’s vaccine needs, according to authorities.  The remaining 80 per cent is yet to be secured.

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