Malé, Maldives – Chairperson of Immunisation Technical Advisory Group Dr. Mohamed Faisal said that AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered as a second dose to those who have not received the second dose of Covishield vaccine after receiving the first dose.
Speaking at last night’s Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) press conference, Dr. Faisal said that Covishield vaccine and Astrezeneka vaccine can be interchanged as stated by World Health Organisation.
WHO has now said that Astrezeneka vaccine and Covishield vaccine can be interchanged when administering the doses. Astrezeneka can be given as a second dose after administering a first dose of Covishield and Covishield can be given as a second dose after a first dose of Astrezeneka.Dr. Mohamed Faisal, Chairperson of Immunisation Technical Advisory Group
In addition to this, Dr. Faisal said that if Maldives is able to obtain Astrezeneka vaccine before the Covishield vaccine, Astrezeneka vaccine will be used to complete the second dose for those who have received the first dose. HEOC previously stated that there are about 92,000 people who received the first dose of Covishield and are eligible for the second dose, however are unable to get it due to lack if vaccine doses in Maldives.
The import of Covishield vaccine to Maldives was stopped as the Covid-19 situation in India deteriorated and stopped their export of vaccines to other countries. While Maldives has purchased 300,000 doses of Covishield, only 100,000 were received by the country.
Spokesperson of the President’s Office, Mabrook Azeez, said that the government is making efforts to procure the vaccine as soon as possible even if it is AstraZeneka vaccine. Maldives has already signed an agreement for 700,000 doses of AstraZeneka vaccine of which the first shipment is expected to arrive this June.