Will receive vaccine by July 20: Health Minister

The Maldives will receive additional COVID-19 vaccines before July 20, the Health Minister has said.

Speaking at a press conference held Tuesday at the President's Office, Health Minister Ahmed Naseem said although he cannot specify an exact date on which the vaccines will arrive, the shipment is expected to arrive between July 12 and 20. The upcoming shipment is of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said the minister.

During a press conference held on June 8th, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, produced in Singapore, were due to arrive in July. The president also said the government had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Russia to acquire 200,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine and the doses would arrive within 4 weeks of signing the supply agreement.

The government signed an agreement with Singapore’s AstraZeneca Company to purchase 700,000 doses of the vaccine earlier on January 20, 2021. However, none of the vaccines have been received to date.