Maldives to receive 700,000 AstraZeneca doses in June

AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine | Photo: Reuters

Malé, Maldives – The Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem states that Maldives will receive the 700,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine procured from AstraZeneca Singapore Pte Ltd starting from June 2021.

The Health Minister said this regarding news reports alleging that Maldives is depleting the vaccine available in the country.

Minister Naseem also said that plans are underway to procure required doses of Pfizer vaccine to inoculate the 12,000 individuals aged 16 to 18.

The Health Minister said that the goal is to vaccinate 80 percent of the population with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

Maldives signed an agreement to procure 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the first week of January 2021.

Maldives has purchased 300,000 doses of Covishield vaccine Serum Institute of India (SII) and received the first batch of 100,000 doses from SII, India. Covishield is mass produced by the Serum Institute of India using the Oxford-Astrazeneca license.

Maldives received 200,000 doses of Covishield and additional 200,000 doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine from China as donations. Additional 18,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine was donated by anonymous benefactors. The country received further 5,850 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 12,000 doses of Covishield through the WHO COVAX facility.

Maldives has authorized three vaccines for emergency use; Covishield, Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

The Covid-19 Dhifaau program was launched on February 1 with the aim of inoculating all eligible resident population of the country. Maldives has been lauded for practising vaccine equity in the International arena for giving free and equal access to vaccines to migrants regardless of their legal status.

A total of 296,961 individuals have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 102,589 received the second dose.