Australia and UNICEF deliver 259,740 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Timor-Leste
DILI, 29 JANUARY 2022 –The Government of Australia and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered 259,740 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to the Government of Timor-Leste today. The vaccine doses are part of a total of 1,260,090 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines that UNICEF will deliver in partnership with the Government of Australia.
The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines will help vaccinate children between 12 and under 18 years of age and be utilized for the booster doses for adults above 18 years of age.
From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, both UNICEF and Australia have played a critical role in supporting the Government of Timor-Leste and the Ministry of Health in the COVID-19 response as well as the deployment and roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine. UNICEF contributes to six pillars of the response and has a co-leadership role in some sub-committees of the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP), providing financial, technical and logistical resources and support.
In partnership with the Government of Australia, UNICEF has supported the procurement of vaccines, strengthened the cold chain system capacity, enhanced the community awareness programme for vaccine uptake, supported vaccine distribution up to the vaccination points and established COVID-19 vaccine related waste management.
“The people of Timor-Leste have benefitted from Australia’s generosity during these challenging times, delivering on the promise to provide COVID vaccines to 80% of the eligible population of this country,” said H.E. Dra. Odete Maria Frietas Belo, Minister of Health in Timor-Leste. “These vaccines would help us protect hundreds of thousands of people, their families and communities from COVID-19.”
In addition to these over 1.2 million Pfizer doses, the Government of Australia has so far provided over 777,850 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine to Timor-Leste. In addition, the Government of Australia has provided over AUD 3.5 million to health partners including UNICEF and WHO in support of the vaccination rollout.
“The Government of Australia is a major partner and close friend of the people and Government of Timor-Leste, and this contribution is a part of our pledge to help protect people in this country from COVID-19,” said Suzanne Wilson-Uilelea Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian Embassy in Dili.
On hand to receive the vaccines were H.E. Julião da Silva, Vice Minister of Foreign Affair and Cooperation; Sr. Narcisio Fernades, Director of Office Policy, Planning, Health Cooperation, Ministry of Health; Ms Suzanne Wilson-Uilelea, Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian Embassy; Dr. Sudath Peiris, representing World Health Organization; and Mr. Bilal Durrani, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste.
“UNICEF is proud to support the Ministry of Health in the implementation of the NDVP including the gap analysis, micro-planning, enumeration of the target population and budgeting; vaccines procurement and delivery; strengthening cold chain equipment; a communication campaign; and community mobilization,” said Bilal Durrani, UNICEF Country Representative in Timor-Leste.
Specifically, on the Pfzier vaccines, UNICEF ensured timely delivery of Pfizer vaccines; procurement, delivery, installation, and training of cold chain at SAMES and regional warehouses; IEC materials focusing on children, parents and teachers; advocacy and sensitization events at each school; and supported other preparation actions, including supporting the training of health personnel.
For further information, please contact:
Ministry of Health:
Ivo Freitas, Head of Pillar 2, COVID-19 response (Tetun and English):
Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist (English): firstname.lastname@example.org; +670.77. 231.103.
Antonio Gomez, Communication Officer (Tetun): email@example.com; +6188.8.131.521
Mr Andrew Abel, First Secretary – Public Diplomacy (English): firstname.lastname@example.org; +6707732 7718Amelia Carlos Public Diplomacy Officer (Tetun): Amelia.Carlos@dfat.gov.au; +670 7726 6222
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF Timor-Leste and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/timorleste