Maldives faces delays in booster program as Covid-19 cases escalate nationwide

Vaccine registrations at Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital | Photo: KRH

Malé, Maldives – The Maldives faces delays in launching the booster program announced in 2021 even as Covid-19 cases escalate nationwide.

Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) has stated in December 2021 that there is a shortage of syringes to administer the 100,620 doses of Pfizer vaccine donated to the Maldives by the US.

While the United States donated 100,620 Pfizer doses via the COVAX facility on 18 December 2021, the island nation has failed to acquire syringes to administer the booster doses.

Previously, the HEOC has reported that this is due to a global syringe shortage and is unable to provide an estimated date of arrival for the syringes. HPA has since been unable to provide a specific date for the procurement of the syringes.

Maldives is currently administering booster doses for eligible adults over 50, immunocompromised and patients under treatment for long term illnesses. The island nation has vaccinated 27,474 individuals with booster doses.

Meanwhile, the island nation has recorded an escalated number of new cases in 2022, with 384 new cases recorded yesterday. While in 2021, the new cases were concentrated in the islands, now the capital city Malé reports higher cases with 153 new cases and 10 locations of concern. Islands reported 102 cases while operational resorts recorded 117 cases.

There are currently 3,511 active cases in the Maldives with 18 patients hospitalized. HPA has also decided to impose Covid-19 negative PCR tests for travel outside the capital.