Male’, Maldives – Spokesperson of Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) Dr. Nazla Rafeeg said that a national steering committee has been put together and their work has started in order to do the necessary preparations for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine at the news conference last night.
Dr.Nazla said during the news conference that four vaccines have been approved around the world that are successful in preventing the disease until date and the it is expected that Maldives will start receiving the vaccines during the first quarter of 2021. She also said that the vaccines will continue to be administered as they are being received.
Further speaking at the news conference, Dr.Nazla said that the necessary preparations prior to the administration of vaccines are taking place now as a part of which a national steering committee has been put together and started their work.
In addition to this, she said that the work of the steering committee includes installation of storages for the vaccine, buying necessary supplies for the administration of vaccine, preparing proposals on how the my vaccine will be obtained which are to presented to the Covax Facility that ensures the fair distribution of vaccines between countries. The steering committee is also responsible for categorising people who are to receive the vaccines as they are being made available. Dr.Nazla further added that Maldives will receive free vaccine for 20 percent of the population under the Covax Facility.
Dr.Nazla also stressed that if another outbreak is to occur in Maldives, it will lead to many difficulties during the administration of Covid-19 vaccines during the first quarter of 2021. She said that public health officials are the ones who will be active during the administration of vaccines and hence it would be very difficult if the officials had to work on controlling another outbreak at the same time as administration of vaccines. To prevent another outbreak and ensure the proper administration if vaccine, Dr Nazla has asked the public to continue following the safety guidelines set by HPA.