Australia supplies another 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Timor-Leste and Fiji

The latest deliveries come after Timor-Leste recorded its first locally acquired cases of the highly contagious Delta variant on Tuesday.

Workers load COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Australian government into a truck after their arrival in Dili in July 2021.

Workers load COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Australian government into a truck after their arrival in Dili in July 2021. Source: AAP

Australia is this week sending 500,000 COVID-19 doses to Timor-Leste and Fiji, with further deliveries planned in coming weeks.

Some 300,000 doses arrived in the Timor-Leste capital of Dili on Wednesday, while Fiji will receive 200,000 doses this week, the government said in a statement.

"Australia has now shared over 575,000 doses with Timor-Leste, where 42 per cent of the adult population has received at least a first dose," it said.

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"These vaccines, complemented by Australian technical assistance, will boost Timor-Leste’s national vaccination rollout across all 13 municipalities, including remote and hard-to-reach areas.

"Fiji is also receiving an additional 200,000 vaccine doses this week, totalling 861,000 doses shared. This is significant progress towards Australia’s commitment of one million vaccine doses delivered to the country this year."



The latest deliveries come after Timor-Leste recorded its first locally acquired cases of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Genomic sequencing by the Doherty Institute in the first week of August found that of 27 samples taken in the country's Ermera region from people infected with the coronavirus, 12 were of the Delta variant.

Samples from other regions were yet to be tested as of Tuesday, but public health experts said growing case numbers elsewhere in the country could indicate that Delta was also present there.

Fiji, meanwhile, has been reporting 867 new infections on average each day, according to Reuters.

A third Australian medical assistance team from arrived in the country last week to help the health system respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

With the latest deliveries, Australia has now shared more than 1.6 million doses with the Pacific and Timor-Leste, having made a commitment to share "up to 15 million doses" by mid-2022.

The government says 42 per cent of the adult population in Timor-Leste has received at least a first dose, while Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services has administered first doses for 87 per cent of the eligible population.


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2 min read
Published 11 August 2021 at 3:29pm
By SBS News
Source: SBS

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