Male’, Maldives – The spokesperson of Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC), Dr. Nazla Rafeeg informed that they will be arranging Covid-19 vaccine storage facilities in the atolls and in the capital Male’ city as well.
As the Covid-19 vaccine needs to be stored in specialized freezers to preserve it for longer, HEO stated that they will be establishing storage facilities specifically for the vaccines in both Male’ and the atolls of Maldives.
Dr. Nazla informed that they will be bringing specialized freezers and requirements to Maldives and that the vaccine storage areas will be increased to accommodate the new vaccine according to the regulations given by WHO and UNICEF.
Dr. Nazla further stated that as some people who received the Covid-19 vaccine in foreign countries had allergy reactions as a side effect, the doctors and nurses in Maldives will be given the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine beforehand to reduce any possible risks.
Any side effects from the vaccine will be documented for investigation and necessary measures will be taken. The policies are in place for these scenarios. We intend to create a data base to further enhance the processDr. Nazla stated.
Although what type of vaccine will be brought to Maldives has not been decided yet, Nazla informed that they are working on bringing the vaccine as soon as possible. However, she mentioned that the team is hoping to start the Covid-19 vaccination program during the first quarter of 2021.
While 17% of the Covid-19 vaccine the country will receive through COVAX is planned to give to the citizens above the age of 50 or the Covid-19 patients who are at high risk, the remaining 3% of the Covid-19 vaccines will be given to the people who are indirectly and directly treating the infected patients and to those who are treating the patients at high risk.
HEOC informed that in addition to these people, they will also be focusing on giving the vaccine to frontliners, disabled people, care workers at children’s care centers and nursing homes.
Luckily, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared that all the residents in Maldives will receive the Covid-19 vaccine for free and that no payments are required to get the vaccine.