Over 19,500 people registered to get Covid-19 vaccine in the Maldives

Dr. Nazla Rafeeq at a National Emergency Operations Center press briefing. | Photo: Sun.

Male’, Maldives — The Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) informs that over 19,500 citizens have registered to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the Maldives.

During a press conference, the spokesperson of HEOC, Dr. Nazla Rafeeg informed that til date, 19,666 people have registered via the portal for vaccination. She said that at a daily rate, almost 1,000 individuals are registered and encouraged more citizens to get registered for the vaccine at the earliest.

Maldives received its first Covid-19 vaccine shipment on 20 January 2021. The first shipment consisted of 100,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine which is expected to be administered to 50,000 individuals – health workers and front liners are given priority, followed by individuals above the age of 50.

After this, individuals between the age of 18-50 who fall in the high risk category will also be receiving the shot. Next in line to receive the shot would be teachers, police and tourism industry personnel.

The HEOC has not included pregnant women and children in the priority list. This is because, the trials for these categories have not been completed yet.

Although HEOC has not yet informed as to when the country will begin the inoculation programs, they notified that the vaccine will only be administered to the residents of the country after getting approved by the Food and Drug Authority of the Maldives, following thorough investigations into the safety of the jab.

The Covishield vaccine brought to Maldives consists of two separate doses of 0.5 ml each. The second dose should be administered four to six weeks after the first. A person who has had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the vaccine, should not be administered the second.

Covishield, unlike many other Covid-19 vaccines, does not have extremely cold storage requirements, which makes the jab ideal for a tropical island nation like the Maldives. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is more affordable and portable when compared to more expensive alternatives, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.