Covid-19 Dhifaau: Over 230,000 people receive their first jab in Maldives!

People registering at vaccination stations. Last few days of vaccination saw long queues at vaccination stations after the government announced to stop giving first dose of Covid-19 vaccine after March 15, 2021 | Photo: Mihaaru

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 230,130 including 2,434 people who got their first jab today. 

With todays vaccinations, a total of 128,293 people from Greater Malé Area and 101,837 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. 

Chinese made Sinopharm vaccine is currently being administered to individuals who did not receive the first dose during the first round of vaccination in Greater Malé Area. Maldives administered Covishield in the first round of vaccination. 

Public Health Officials inform that the second dose of Covishield vaccine will start from April 2021 upon completion of 8 weeks from when the first dose was administered, in emergency cases and special circumstances, some may receive the second dose earlier. 

Although Maldives was administering the Covishield vaccine mass produced by the Serum Institute of India during the first round of vaccination, 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 had recently approved Covishield, Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine and Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in the country. 

While two Covid-19 vaccines are being administered currently in the Maldives for first dose vaccinations, Health Protection Agency (HPA) has informed the public that the second dose will be of the same vaccine as they had received first. Covishield first dose receivers will get Covishield as the second dose, and Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine first receivers will get the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine second jab. 

China has also pledged 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives. While the first batch of 100,000 doses were transported to Maldives by the national carrier Maldivian on March 25, 2021, preparations are underway to transport the second batch of vaccines to Maldives. 

Maldives is also preparing to place an order for additional 300,000 doses of Covishield in preparation for the second dose vaccinations. The country previously administered 200,000 doses of Covishield which was received as donation from India for first dose administration. 

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 also receive 5,886 doses of Pfizer pledged by the COVAX facility yesterday.