Maldives has commenced the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine
Maldives has commenced the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine today, 1st February 2021. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed were two of the first to receive their first doses of vaccine, along with frontliners and other government officials including Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed and Chief of Justice of the Maldives Uz Ahmed Muthasim Adnan. The vaccine was administered at a special ceremony held at the Male’ Social Center to launch the COVID-19 vaccinations in Maldives. The Immunization Station in Male' has been established at the Social Center in the Maafannu ward of the city, where vaccination efforts are currently underway.
During the launching ceremony, President Ibrahim Solih stressed on the importance of getting vaccinated as doctors and health professionals agree that this is the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19. He also appealed to the citizens of Maldives to take part in the vaccination process and work together to survive the pandemic. “We have received a lot of help and cooperation from the citizens during the past 10 to 11 months. I believe we have come this far because we have adhered to the instructions given by health professionals. The government’s aim is to provide the vaccine to all citizens and residents in the country during the next 6 months and we will work towards providing it without any interruptions.”
Maldives is using AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine. The Ministry of Health stated on 31st January 2021 that the vaccine rollout will initially take place in the capital of Maldives, Male’ City, Addu City and Haa Dhaalu Kulhudhuffushi. The vaccines have already been delivered to these locations for inoculation.
In Male’, the vaccinations are taking place at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) as well as ADK, Hulhumale’ Hospital, Villimale' Hospital and TreeTop Hospital. In Addu and Kulhudhuffushi, the vaccines will be administered at the Equatorial Hospital and Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital respectively.
The topmost priority is given to frontline workers for the first round. During a national address given by President Ibrahim Solih on 20th January 2021, President Ibrahim Solih declared that the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives, in the coming months. President Ibrahim Solih also emphasized on the importance of individual responsibility even during this time of renewed hope, and implored citizens to be cautious to follow the lead of health professionals.
The Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) approved the 100,000 doses of COVISHIELD vaccine, donated by India, for restricted use in emergency situations on 26th January 2021. The approval was issued after close technical review of the vaccine, and with the recommendation of the National Pharmaceutical Board.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHIELD Vaccine delivered to Maldives were produced by the Serum Institute of India and deployed under a special grant program between the two countries. It has proven to be effective in immunizing recipients against COVID-19. The Serum Institute of India is one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturers, with a WHO-accredited facility. As per the most recent clinical trials conducted for the COVISHIELD vaccine, it has an effectivity rate of 70 percent.
The COVISHIELD vaccine has now been approved for use by the European Union as well.
Learn more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines: https://bit.ly/3cnmw2K