Sputnik vaccine would arrive within 4 weeks of signing supply agreement: President Solih

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of Maldives | Photo: The Times of Addu

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has revealed that the government has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Russia to acquire 200,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine.

Speaking at the press conference held today at President’s Office, President Solih told that the vaccines would be supplied within 4 weeks of signing the supply agreement.

The Russian vaccine Sputnik was approved by the Maldiviam Food and Drug Authority earlier in May, 2021. According to Health Minister Ahmed Naseem, the government had decided to procure Sputnik vaccine after the government’s other vaccine purchases got delayed.

During the press conference today, President Solih told 500,000 doses out of the 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine procured, produced in Singapore would arrive in July. While this delivery has been delayed several times, Maldives signed the 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 but due to the worsened situation in India, the remaining vaccines delivery is unconfirmed till now.

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.

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 312,133 individuals have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 173,291 received the second dose.