Minister of State for Health Dr. Abdulla Shah has guaranteed World Health Organization (WHO) approval will be soon forthcoming for the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine as manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, acquired by the Maldives under a grand aid program between the two countries.
State Minister Dr. Shah made the announcement while speaking at an appearance on Raajje TV's "Fala Surukhee" program, confirming that the vaccines given to Maldives by India was the same vaccine developed by Oxford University in England. He added that the Serum Institute in India had used the exact same formula as Oxford University to manufacture the vaccines, and that there was no doubt about the safety of the doses.
Dr. Shah went on to guarantee that successful trials for the vaccine had been conducted in India as well, and that the World Health Organization (WHO) would give the official greenlight to use the vaccine in the coming days.
Adding that over a hundred thousand people had been administered the vaccine in India, Dr. Shah said that there was no doubt the vaccines were safe as the results being observed in India thus far were very promising. Dr. Shah also revealed that some other countries in the world had also begun administering the Covishield vaccines manufactured in India based on the University of Oxford's formula.
Referring to the many factors considered in approving a vaccine, Dr. Shah said manufacturing was the least of what was gauged when determining the safety of a vaccine. He said that it was critical to ensure everything between the production and packaging of the vaccine to the administering of doses to the general public was scrutinized thoroughly as a vaccine undergoes the approval process.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has previously assured that all vaccines being used in the Maldives would have WHO approval and be confirmed as secure enough to administer to the public.
Maldives received 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine as manufactured by India's Serum Institute on 20 January. Shortly before the airfreight carrying the vaccines landed in the country, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih revealed the government's Covid-19 response plan as to provide free vaccines to all those living in the Maldives in the coming months, preparations for which are already underway on behalf of related authorities.