COVID-19 booster shot may be required, says minister

Health Minister, Ahmed Naseem has said a booster shot may be required after completing two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The minister made the statement while speaking to reporters after the Japanese government donated vaccines to the Maldives on Sunday. When asked regarding booster shots, the minister said it is important to administer a booster shot, and the donation received from Japan would be helpful for the purpose. However, he did not provide further details.

According to America's Food and Drug Authority (FDA), an annual booster shot will not be required. FDA said medical experts believe one booster shot would be enough for a lifetime, further noting that booster shots are already given in some cases after completing the full doses of certain vaccines.

The minister also spoke about the vaccines the government was working to procure from Russia. While the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has said the Maldives will not be purchasing the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, the minister said the vaccines can be procured next year if needed.

368,148 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Maldives, while 299,077 people have completed the full dose of the vaccine. The minister said the Maldives is doing very well compared to other countries in terms of vaccinating the country's residents and acknowledged the government and public's cooperation in making the vaccine program a success.