Health Minister Abdulla Ameen has reiterated that Maldives will have fast access to Covid-19 vaccines.
The minister, during an exclusive interview to RaajjeTV, said that the country is on a list of countries compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), to receive the much-demanded vaccine once developed.
Highlighting that the government is conducting the required work to ensure fast access to the vaccine, Ameen said that this includes dialogues with those involved including organizations such as WHO.
Noting that vaccines will be distributed through WHO, Ameen stressed that Maldives is already on the list and added that they believe that the country will be among the first countries to receive the vaccine.
However, he noted that it is still not clear on when this can be done given the work and time required to create a vaccine. The minister emphasized that some international companies have revealed that they are in the final stages of the process.
While authorities continue discussions to ensure quick access to a Covid-19 vaccine through the World Health Organization, the organization has been assisting the country in its response efforts including donating testing kits as well as medical and diagnostic items including ICU equipment.
Maldivian officials have, on multiple platforms, reiterated the need for international support in Covid-19 recovery efforts.
There are over 100 Covid-19 vaccines in early development, while around two dozen are now being tested on people in clinical trials. While a vaccine normally takes years if not decades to develop, researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months given the highly contagious disease continues to spread across the world.
WHO has revealed that 75 countries have submitted expressions of interest to protect their populations and those of other nations through joining the COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.