Timor-Leste launched the inoculation of its teachers and students aged 18 and above against COVID-19 with the China-donated Sinovac vaccine on Monday, a day coinciding with the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, traditionally meant in part to pray for people's health.
JAKARTA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Timor-Leste launched the inoculation campaign of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a university in the country's capital Dili on Monday.
Aniceto Guterres Lopes, speaker of the Timor-Leste National Parliament, Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste Xiao Jianguo, and other officials from the Timor-Leste government attended the launch ceremony at the National University of Timor-Leste.
Ambassador Xiao said the vaccination program coincided with the Dragon Boat Festival in China, a traditional event for people to pray for health, safety and well-being. He believed the Sinovac vaccine, a testament to friendship between the two countries, could play an important and constructive role in Timor-Leste's fight against COVID-19.
The target population of this batch of Sinovac vaccines in Timor-Leste are teachers, students and faculty staff aged 18 and above, which will help restore normal operation of the country's education institutions as classes are suspended in all schools due to the pandemic.
Aniceto Guterres Lopes expressed his gratitude to China for offering all kinds of help since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and expected enhancement of further anti-epidemic cooperation between the two countries.
Timor-Leste's Minister of Defense Filomeno da Paixão, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport Abrão Saldanha, and representatives of teachers and students received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot after the ceremony.
The "Spring Sprout" program also began in Timor-Leste on Monday, during which the Chinese nationals in Timor-Leste are prioritized to get vaccinated with China-donated vaccines.