COVAX delivers 12,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Maldives

First shipment of Covid-19 vaccine which arrived in Maldives via the COVAX facility | Photo: Twitter

Malé, Maldives – The World Health Organization (WHO) co-led facility COVAX has supplied Maldives with the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines dedicated for Maldives.

The shipment arrived on Sunday with 12,000 doses. However, the specific type of vaccine has not yet been revealed. This shipment comes shortly after the country received 100,000 syringes to be used in the country’s nation wide vaccination program, Covid-19 Dhifaau, also under the same COVAX facility.

COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic.

Coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, COVAX acts as a platform to support research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and negotiate their pricing. All participating countries, regardless of income levels, are to have equal access to these vaccines once they are developed. According to the Gavi website, the initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.

Currently the Maldives has vaccinated more than 147,000 individuals with the first dose of the Covishield vaccine in the country. Along with COVAX, the country has been receiving major assistance by ally countries in the vaccination front, due to which the country has theoretically secured enough vaccines to cover the entire population of the country.