Maldives to start administering second dose of Covishield after March 15

Minister of Health of Maldives Ahmed Naseem receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. | Photo: President's Office

Malé, Maldives – The Health Minister of Maldives Ahmed Naseem has revealed that the administration of second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine under the Covid-19 Dhifaau campaign, will commence some time after 15 March, 2021.

Speaking at an event to commence the establishment of a new building at the R. Un’goofaaru Hospital, the Minister stated that while the coronavirus is still spreading in the capital, it has been some time since the first dose of the vaccine has started to be administered in the country, and that initiating the administering of the second dose is vital in order to attain immunity, due to which the government plans to stop administering the first dose in Malé City by 15th March, in order to start the process of the second jab.

.. So, our plan is to cease the administration of the first jab by 15th March. Then we’ll be starting with the second dose, in Malé.

Ahmed Naseem, Minister of Health of Maldives

The Minister also added that administering the first dose to all individuals above the age of 18 in the Malé region is achievable, given that the daily vaccine administration capacity is at 10,000.

However, although the administering of the first dose will be discontinued on 15th March, it is likely that the second dose of the inoculation will not start being administered until April, given that the HPA has announced that the second dose will only be administered eight weeks after the first dose, and that the Maldives started the Covid-19 immunization campaign on the 1st of February.

As of Monday, Maldives has vaccinated a total of 157,813 individuals, of which, 66,534 are from the atolls. Despite the geographical dispersement and the transportation challenges, the nation wide Covid-19 vaccination campaign has proven to be remarkably successful.

As of the now, the country is only administering the Covishield vaccine, which is the AstraZeneca vaccine mass produced under the name Covishied, by the Serum Institute of India.

However, the country has received other brands of the vaccine as well, which are currently in the process of being approved, as per the authorities. Among the received vaccines include the Chinese made Sinopharm vaccine, as well as the vaccine shipment of 12,000 doses which arrived via the COVAX facility, of which details are yet to be revealed.

Despite this, the country has secured enough Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate the entire population, and on its way to become one of the first countries to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The government of Maldives aims to achieve this goal within the upcoming five months.