The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, revealed that more than 50,000 individuals were inoculated till date as part of Maldives' ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme.
According to the agency, 39,309 were vaccinated from the Greater Male' Region, 10,500 from the remaining atolls across the country and 219 from resorts.
Maldives officially commenced its vaccine roll-out on February 1 after receiving a donation of 100,000 doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine from the Indian government. The donation constitutes enough doses to inoculate 50,000 individuals.
Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has revealed that the vaccination programme would continue without allocating a waiting period to administer the second dose to those that have already received the initial shot.
HEOC highlighted guarantees that Maldives would receive the vaccine dozes provided under the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s COVAX programme mid-February and the 700,000 doses purchased from AstraZeneca’s Singaporean company in March.
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 18,082 virus cases of which 2,384 are active cases, in addition to 15,633 recoveries and 58 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 110 million people and claimed over 2.4 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 84.8 million people have recovered.