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Timor-Leste Launches Second COVID-19 Vaccination Round, Targets Elderly and Chronically Ill

Timor-Leste Launches Second COVID-19 Vaccination Round, Targets Elderly and Chronically Ill Featured

DILI: First jabs of Timor-Leste’s second round of COVID-19 vaccinations were given on Monday, a major boost as the country works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.

The vaccines are part of a shipment of 20,000 AstraZeneca shots donated by Australia last week.

As there are not enough doses for the entire population, doses have been prioritised for people aged over 60 and the chronically ill.

Speaking to reporters at the vaccine launch on Monday, Health Minister Odete Maria Freitas Belo said because of the country’s limited vaccine supply it was important to target high-risk individuals first.

Belo said health authorities were working toward having more vaccines available for lower-risk people in the near future.

"The second phase of the vaccination drive is specifically for the elderly and sick people because the AstraZeneca vaccine is limited to only 20,000 dosages," Belo said.

Belo urged people aged over 60 to visit their nearest health centre to get vaccinated, saying vaccinations were a critical part of Timor-Leste’s fight against the fast-moving virus.

Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste Peter Robert received the first dose of the new vaccination round.

Roberts referred to the vaccination as a “safe” and important way to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Timor-Leste currently has 1,540 registered active COVID-19 cases, and 3227 cases accumulated since March 2020.

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