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COVID-19: HPA opens vaccination for people over 20 in capital

01 March 2021, MVT 15:42
A health worker prepares to administer the COVISHIELD vaccine. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
01 March 2021, MVT 15:42

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Monday, announced that vaccination would be provided for any individual over the age of 20 in the Greater Male' Region.

Vaccination was initially opened in the capital area for frontline staff along with senior citizens over the age of 55 and then for high-risk individuals above the age of 18.

Maldives officially commenced its vaccine roll-out on February 1 after receiving the initial donation of 100,000 doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine from the Indian government. An additional donation of 100,000 doses was granted on February 20.

The Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) approved the India-gifted COVISHIELD vaccines for restricted use in "emergency situations", defined by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, subjected to various regulatory provisions.

COVISHIELD was manufactured by the world's largest vaccine producer Serum Institute of India, using a formula prepared in a collaborative effort by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. British Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved the vaccine on December 30, 2020.

After a long period of recording low numbers towards the end of 2020, Maldives is now experiencing its third wave of the pandemic, with the introduction of the United Kingdom’s highly contagious virus variant.

Currently, the island nation records a total of 19,793 virus cases of which 2,475 are active cases, in addition to 17,249 recoveries and 62 deaths.

On March 12, 2020, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 114.6 million people and claimed over 2.5 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 90.2 million people have recovered.

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