The Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has announced emergency-use approvals for the Sinopharm and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in the Maldives, to boost work to immunize the nation's population against Covid-19 through fast-tracked vaccination efforts across the country.
MFDA confirmed the emergency-use approvals for the Sinopharm and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Monday afternoon. MFDA has further specified that the Sinopharm vaccines will only be administered to those between the ages of 18 and 60. The Maldives has already received 18,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, and is currently awaiting an additional 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be administered to everyone above the age of 18 across the Maldives, though the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) and the MFDA report that the Maldives does not have a stock of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to administer at present. However, the island nation is set to receive 5,850 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through the COVAX facility's exceptional allocation mechanism.
The Maldives had access to a total of 212,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine, from which 206,114 people have been administered their first vaccine doses across the country. Authorities report that there are 5,886 doses of the Covishield vaccine left for use as of now, and that they will be temporarily discontinuing issuing first doses of Covid-19 vaccines until more vaccines can be secured. Despite this, health authorities have confirmed that vaccines will still be issued to select groups such as high-risk individuals, elderly persons, those who have contracted Covid-19, those in isolation due to contact with positive cases, and those who had to delay vaccination for medical reasons.
The Maldivian government is working to purchase an additional 300,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine from India's Serum Institute, in addition to the 700,000 doses acquired by the government through an as-yet undisclosed agreement signed between the Ministry of Health and AstraZeneca Singapore Private Limited.