Malé, Maldives – Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has revealed that research to approve Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinopharm has not been completed yet.
Communication official for HEOC stated today that the Maldivian Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) is currently carrying out assessments on the vaccine, adding that the vaccine has not been started to be distributed for administration yet as MFDA has not given approval for sinopharm yet.
Maldives currently has received 10,000 doses of Sinopharm, with 200,000 vaccine doses to be donated by China. The exact brand of this vaccine has not been disclosed yet, but it likely to be either Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine produced by China.
State Minister Dr. Shah Mahir, who is incharge of the MFDA stated on February 16, 2021 that research was being carried out on Sinopharm before being allowed for use in Maldives. However, the approval for the vaccine has still not been given.
Maldives is currently administering the Covishield vaccine mass produced by the Serum Institute of India, which is essentially the same as the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals which was approved by MFDA for use within 3 days of arrival from India.
In total, Maldives has secured more than 1.2 million doses of the vaccine, meaning that the entire population can get vaccinated soon – something which the government of Maldives aims to achieve within the next five months.