Only 1,700 doses of Covishield Covid-19 vaccine remaining in Maldives

Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mohamed Mabrouq Azeez | Photo: HEOC

Malé, Maldives – Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mohamed Mabrouq Azeez has said that only 1,700 doses of Covishield Covid-19 vaccine was remaining in Maldives.

Speaking at the Health Emergency Operations Center press conference last night, Mabrouq stated that in addition to the 1,700 Covishield doses, 137,000 Sinopharm jabs and 4,700 pFizer jabs were remaining in the country.

Maldives purchased additional 300,000 doses of Covishield vaccine Serum Institute of India (SII) due to the delay in receiving the 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and received the first batch of 100,000 doses from SII, India. However, due to the current Covid-19 situation in India, the delivery of the remaining vaccines from India has been delayed as Covishield is mass produced by the Serum Institute of India using the Oxford-Astrazeneca license.

Mabrouq also added that the government was speaking with India and that they are expending to being additional Covishield vaccine stock within the next two weeks from now. This also comes while Covishield vaccination has been temporarily suspended in the country until further notice

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

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

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.

Till date, a total of 298,396 individuals have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 114,240 received the second dose. Maldives aims to become one of the first countries to have a 100 percent vaccinated tourism sector and entire resident population. To this end, the country is also vaccinating the migrant population regardless of documentation status.