COVID-19 vaccination will not be made mandatory: HEOC

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that it would not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in the Maldives.a

HEOC is carrying out special awareness programs to enlighten the public on the COVID-19 vaccine. According to information released by the centre, COVID-19 vaccination will not be made mandatory in the Maldives. However, it noted that vaccination would play a big part in controlling the spread of the virus in the Maldives, and would expedite returning to normalcy if more people chose to get vaccinated.

“If an individual chooses to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it will protect him against the disease as well as minimize the risk of the disease posed to high risk individuals through that individual,” said HEOC.

The Maldives will be rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. While neighbouring India has already provided 100,000 doses of the vaccine, the vaccines have been stored under proper conditions. The doses will be enough to fully vaccinate 50,000 people.

HEOC said it chose the AstraZeneca vaccine as the results of the vaccine trials pertaining to the vaccine in question are clear. While the vaccine can be stored at a reasonable temperature, the vaccines can be stored under normal refrigerator conditions, said HEOC.

Speaking on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, HEOC said the vaccine passed its third stage clinical trials and is in the process of being approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). All vaccines will have to be approved by the Food and Drug Authority of the Maldives before its cleared for inoculation.