Sinopharm & Pfizer approved for use in Maldives

Sinopharm vaccine | Photo: Beijing Daily

Malé, Maldives – The Maldivian Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has approved Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine and Pfizer for use in the Maldives.

The Deputy Director General of MFDA confirmed this in a press conference, stating that the approval was signed on 14 March 2021.

With the approval of these two vaccines, Maldives now has three vaccines in regulation; Sinopharm, Pfizer and Covishield which is already in use.

Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, produced by a Chinese state-owned company, named Sinopharm. Covishield, manufactured in India by Serum Institute of India (SII) uses inactivated vaccine technology, while Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, initially developed by the German company BioNTech and manufactured by American company Pfizer uses a new mRNA technology.

Maldives has vaccinated 206,114 individuals with the first dose of Covishield and is preparing for the second dose in April.

Maldives received 200,000 doses of Covishield donated by India, with another 12,000 donated through the WHO COVAX facility.

The government intends to buy 300,000 additional Covishield doses from the SII. In addition, an agreement has been signed with Astrazeneca Singapore to procure 700,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

At present, Maldives has 18,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine ready for use in the country, with additional 200,000 doses pledged by China. The country is expecting further 5,850 doses of Pfizer vaccine through the WHO COVAX facility.

At present, 46% of the eligible population has received the first dose of the Covishield vaccine.