The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, revealed that more than 100,000 individuals were administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Maldives' inoculation drive.
At present, vaccination is being conducted in the capital city of Male', Addu City and Kulhudhuffushi City.
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 19,597 virus cases of which 2,397 are active cases, in addition to 17,132 recoveries and 61 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 114.4 million people and claimed over 2.5 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 89.9 million people have recovered.