COVID-19: China to gift 100,000 vaccine doses to the Maldives

The Chinese government will be gifting 100,000 doses of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives.

The Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Zhang Lizhong Thursday said China’s decision to aid 100,000 doses of the vaccine to the people of the Maldives has been informed to the Maldives government. Arrangement is under discussion to ensure early arrival of the vaccines, said the ambassador.

The vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned company, China’s National Pharmaceutical Group (SinoPharm) has already been administered to millions of people. The efficacy of the virus against COVID-19 has been proven in phase three trials of the vaccine.

The Maldives’ Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has previously disclosed that 5,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine was gifted to the Maldives by a well wisher. However, the identity of the donor was not disclosed. HEOC said the vaccines are currently in storage, and that it will only be administered after the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) issues the necessary approvals for the vaccine.

The Maldives initiated its national COVID-19 vaccine drive on Monday. Currently, only the COVISHIELD vaccine manufactured in India under a special license from AstraZeneca is being administered in the Maldives. However, Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has stated that more varieties of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the Maldives in the future.