Malé, Maldives – The World Health Organization (WHO) co-led facility COVAX has supplied Maldives with the 5,850 doses of Pfizer vaccines to support the country’s vaccination campaign.
In a tweet posted by UNICEF Maldives, the agency stated that they were helping in public communication, supply, logistics and cold chain management for the vaccination as well.
While this is the second shipment of vaccines by COVAX facility, a shipment with 12,000 doses were supplied in the first week of March, 2021. However, the specific type of vaccine has not yet been revealed. This shipment came 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.
In addition to this, the country has also received the first shipment of Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine from the Chinese government today with the country receiving 100,000 doses of the vaccine for the first batch. In a ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry this morning, Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong presented the vaccine to Health Minister Ahmed Naseem. Minister Shahid revealed that while the 1st batch of the vaccines arrived late last night, the 2nd batch of the vaccines is scheduled to be received by 30th of this month.
This was followed by Foreign Minister, Abdullah Shahid stating that Maldives is expected to receive 100,000 doses of Covidshield vaccine out of the 300,000 which the country has bought this week.
With yesterdays vaccinations, a total of 224,979 from Maldives have been given their fist doze of Covid-19 vaccine. This includes 125,885 people from Greater Malé Area and 99,094 from the atolls have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination. There are 08 vaccination centers with 02 mobile teams in greater Malé area 168 vaccination centers in the islands.