Malé, Maldives – Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that the number of individuals who have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Maldives has reached 220,768 including 1,856 people who got their first jab yesterday.
With yesterdays vaccinations, a total of 123,227 people from Greater Malé Area and 97,541 from the atolls have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination. While Maldives had been administering Covishield vaccine mass produced by the Serum Institute of India, Chinese made Sinopharm vaccine which was approved to be used in Maldives on March 15, 2021 is being used in the second round of vaccination in Greater Malé Area.
Public Health Officials inform that the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine will start from April 2021 upon completion of 8 weeks from the first dose, while in emergency cases and special circumstances, some may receive the second dose earlier.
While HEOC previously stated that first dose administration would cease today to make way for authorities to start administering the second dose of the Covishield vaccine, they stated that the following individuals can still get the first dose:
- High risk individuals ( Senior citizens and individuals with long term illnesses)
- Individuals positive for Covid-19 and are currently in isolation
- Direct contacts currently in quarantine
- Individuals travelling from abroad and currently in quarantine
- Individuals who had to delay their first dose due to an illness or health condition
Although Maldives is administering the Covishield vaccine mass produced by the Serum Institute of India, the country discontinued administering the first dose of the vaccine on March 15, 2021 due to preparations in progress to start inoculating for the second dose in April 2021.
Maldives us preparing to place an order for additional 300,000 doses of Covishield at present. The country previously received 200,000 doses as donation from India.
Meanwhile, the government has signed an agreement with Astrazeneca Singapore Pte Ltd to buy 700,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine while 12,000 doses of Covishield have been received through the WHO COVAX facility. Maldives is expecting is yet to receive the Astrazeneca shipment and 5,886 doses of Pfizer pledged by the COVAX facility.
China has also pledged 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives.
Maldives has recently approved Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine and Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in the country.