Date on which vaccines will be received not definite, says HEOC

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that an exact date on which COVID-19 vaccines will reach Maldives is not yet definite.

A declaration signed by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on December 31, 2020 said the government will be signing an agreement with the Singaporean company, AstraZeneca to procure COVID-19 vaccines for Maldives. Efforts are ongoing to procure vaccines from AstraZeneca as well as other sources.

Several local media have reported that the Maldives will be receiving COVID-19 vaccines during this month, citing Health Minister Ahmed Naseem. However, the Health Ministry said all vaccine related information will be issued from HEOC.

HEOC on Wednesday said it has received assurance of vaccine procurement, but did not reveal a date on which the vaccines will be received. The centre said it would keep sharing updates on obtaining vaccines.

HEOC has previously stated that vaccine administration will commence in the Maldives during the first quarter of 2021. While Maldives is among the countries that will receive free vaccines for 20 percent of the population, the government has already decided on the order for vaccine administration.