Ex-pres refuses to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Answering a question asked by AVAS, Maldives Correctional Services' Media Official said President Yameen was brought to Male' from Maafushi Prison to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on his request. However, he refused the vaccine after he was brought to Male' and hence has been transferred back to Maafushi Prison, said the official.

AVAS has learnt that President Yameen was taken to ADK Hospital for vaccine administration around 9:45 on Wednesday night. The reason why he changed his mind regarding the vaccine is unknown.

The Maldives used Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine during the first round of vaccination, and is currently using China's Sinopharm vaccine its its second round. The Pfizer vaccine is being administered to those on long term medication for chronic diseases. AVAS has learnt that President Yameen was given the option to choose which vaccine he would receive.

The former president is currently serving a five year sentence on a money-laundering conviction. Yameen's family and party officials recently requested authorities to transfer him to home arrest for the Holy Month of Ramadan.