Health Ministry refuses to disclose Covid-19 vaccine procurement information

Minister of Health of Maldives Ahmed Naseem receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. | Photo: President's Office

Malé, Maldives – Local news Adhadhu reported on Sunday that the Maldives’ Ministry of Health has refused requests to disclose Covid-19 vaccine procurement information citing non-disclosure clauses in the contracts.

This is the second time that the Ministry has refused to disclose vaccine procurement details. Health Ministry also denied providing the same information to local news Mihaaru in February 2021 citing the same reasons.

The Ministry stated that the Covid-19 vaccines were procured under contracts that prohibited the government from disclosing any information regarding sales since they contain trade secrets which if disclosed will cause financial damage to the third party.

Covid-19 vaccine procurement details,

Covid-19 vaccines received by Maldives according to the Ministry of Health,

  • (January 2021-) Shipment 1-2, donation from India: 200,000 Covishield doses
  • (Fenruary 2021-) Shipment 3-4, donation from China: 200,000 Sinopharm doses
  • (March 2021-) Shipment 5-, donation from Covax Facility: 581,770 vaccine doses
  • (March 2021) Shipment 6, procurement from SII: 100,000 Covishield doses
  • Private Donations: 50,200 Sinopharm doses
  • Private Donations: 60,000 Covishield doses

While the Ministry failed to disclose the information on the origins of the Covid-19 vaccines used for the third and fourth doses (aka booster campaign), The Times of Addu reports that the US government donated 100,620 additional doses of Pfizer vaccines to the Maldives on 4 June 2022. With this donation, the Pfizer vaccine donated to the Maldives from the US alone adds up to 540,540 doses.

Health Ministry has again refused to disclose information on the prices and reception of vaccines signed with AstraZeneca Singapore Pte Ltd and the remaining 200,000 doses signed with SII India.