China to donate additional 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Maldives

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Lizhong with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih | Photo: Presidents Office

Malé, Maldives – Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Zhang Lizhong has announced that China will donate 100,000 doses of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinopharm to Maldives.

In a tweet posted by Ambassador Zhang earlier today, he stated that he had met with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and had informed about the China governments decision and that arrangements which need to be made to bring the vaccine as soon as possible were discussed.

Ambassador Zhang also stated that the Chinese government was committed in making vaccines a global public good.

Maldives had previously received 5,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, Sinopharm developed by China earlier this month. According to HEOC spokesperson Dr. Nazla Rafeeq, the 5,000 vaccines are currently stored and would be permitted by the Food and Drug Authority of the Maldives after assessments.

Sinopharm is widely used in China and was developed by two companies from the nation. Sinovac and Sinopharm are the two vaccines predominantly used in China. The two vaccines have about 78 percent effectiveness against COVID-19.

The Maldives commenced vaccinations on February 1, 2021. Currently, the Covishield vaccine developed by Astrazeneca-Oxford University is used in the Maldives. The vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

The first batch was 100,000 doses gifted by India to the Maldives. More vaccine doses are to be received through the WHO COVAX facility, that will arrive mid February. A further 700,000 doses of the vaccine are being procured by the Maldivian government, expected to be received in March. The Health Minister recently announced that Maldives will also procure the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccineBeijing Daily.