Second dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 began to be administered today

Thu. 10 of June of 2021, 11:10h

On June 10th, 2021, in a ceremony held at the Dili Convention Centre (CCD), Timor-Leste startedthe distribution of the second dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, to citizens who received the first dose last April, following yesterday’sarrival of 100,800 vaccines under the COVAX mechanism.

The Vice Prime Ministers, Armanda Berta dos Santos and José Maria dos Reis, the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, the President of the National Parliament, Aniceto Longuinhos Guterres Lopes, the Vice President of the National Parliament, Maria Angelina Lopes Sarmento and the President of the Court of Appeal, Deolindo dos Santos, simultaneously, were the first citizens in the country to receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and complete the vaccination against COVID-19.

The Minister of Health and Vice-Presidentof the Interministerial Commission for the Preparation and Coordination of the Execution of the Vaccination Plan against COVID-19, Odete Maria Freitas Belo, in her speech, highlighted the proven safety and efficacy of the two vaccines existing in the country, AstraZeneca and Sinovac, in addition to the fact that the conditions necessary for their storage and refrigeration are more easily adapted to the national context, because the necessary conditions already exist in the country and are similar to those used in other national vaccination programmes.

Odete Maria Freitas Belo reiterated the goal set in the National Vaccination Plan, of immunizing the entire population over the age of 18 by the end of the year, and said that during the month of June or July, the target of 20 percent of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine should be reached.

The Vice Prime Minister and President of the Interministerial Commission for the Preparation and Coordination of the Execution of the Vaccination Plan against COVID-19, in her speech, described the several constraints and difficulties that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been inflicting to the population, not only at the health level, but also at the economic and social level, and therefore, highlighted the importance of the vaccination campaign and specially the beginning of the distribution of the second doses, because the only solution for the return to normality is vaccination.

On behalf of the Government, she asked for the collaboration of all entities, political leaders, veterans, community authorities and religious confessions, so that everyone unites to support the National Vaccination Programme.

The Vice Prime Minister thanked Austrália, China and the COVAX mechanism for the vaccine donations to Timor-Leste and the World Health Organization, UNICEF and all the organizations that have supported the implementation of the national vaccination campaign againstCOVID-19.

Starting today, the first 28,412 people who were vaccinated in the first phase, between April 7thand 28th, may start receiving their second dose from AstraZeneca, as they complete the eight-week interval between each dose.

As of June 8th, 93,525 people nationwide had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing 12% of the population over 18 years old. In Dili, the municipality most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the first dose has already been administered to a total of 80,948 people, 40% of the population over 18 years old in this municipality.

During the ceremony, the RSETL mobile application of the Family Health Program was launched, a platform that will contain the vaccination record against COVID-19 and will also serve as proof for travelling between municipalities covered by the imposition of sanitary fences, when citizens exceed the period of two weeks after having received the second dose of the vaccine.