Sinopharm vaccine will be used once necessary approvals are issued: HEOC

The Health Ministry has stated that China’s Sinopharm vaccine will be used under the Maldives’ COVID-19 vaccination program as soon as the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) issues the necessary approvals.

A well-wisher recently donated 5,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives. However, the identity of the donor has not been revealed. The Health Emergency Operation Centre has previously said the 5,000 doses already in Maldives are stored under the appropriate conditions.

Since then, the Chinese government has announced that it would gift 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives. The doses are expected to arrive in the Maldives soon.

Speaking at a press conference held by HEOC on Monday, the Head of Vaccine Operations, Mohamed Hamzath said the Sinopharm vaccines will be used in the Maldives, and that the government is awaiting the necessary approvals from MFDA and the ministry. Inoculation will begin as soon as the necessary approvals are received, he added.

Millions of Chinese citizens have already received the SInopharm vaccine, while several other countries are also using the vaccine under its COVID-19 vaccination programs.

43,817 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine under the government’s vaccination program thus far. The COVISHIELD vaccine manufactured by India’s Serum Institute under a special licensing from AstraZeneca is being administered in the Maldives. While 100,000 doses of the vaccine was gifted to the Maldives by the Indian government, the government has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to purchase 700,000 doses of the vaccine. Health Minister Ahmed Naseem previously stated that although COVISHIELD vaccine is currently used in the Maldives, other vaccines, including the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine will also be offered in the Maldives.