Maldives receives 5,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine

In this photo Dec. 25, 2020 released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff member inspects syringes of COVID-19 inactivated vaccine products at a packaging plant of the Beijing Biological Products Institute Co., Ltd, a unit of state-owned Sinopharm in Beijing. (Zhang Yuwei/Xinhua via AP)

Health Protection Agency states Maldives has received a donation of 5,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine produced in China.

An official from HPA said on Thursday that the vaccine will be administered once Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) issues relevant approvals.

“As with Covishield, this vaccine will be administered after relevant approvals are obtained from MFDA,” said the official.

While HPA stated that the 5,000 Sinopharm doses were a donation, they did not specify where the donation came from.

The new shipment of Sinopharm doses comes after Maldives received a donation of 5,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from well-wishers in China earlier this February. Meanwhile the Chinese government has also pledged to donate 100,000 doses of the same vaccine to Maldives.

China is administering two COVID-19 vaccines in the country; the Sinopharm vaccine and the Sinovac vaccine. The country has administered the vaccines to over 24 million.

Both Sinopharm and Sinovac claim their vaccines are 78 percent effective.

Maldives began mass vaccinations against COVID-19 on February 1. The country is currently administering 100,000 doses of the Covishield developed AstraZeneca and Oxford donated by India in January, and has ordered 700,000 more doses of the same vaccine – which they expect to receive in March. Maldives also expects to receive the first shipment of vaccines from World Health Organization (WHO) under the COVAX facility this February.