Maldives approves emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine

In this Dec. 10, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker prepares a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Moscow. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has approved emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine in Maldives.

Sputnik V is a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Russia’s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

MFDA said they approved the use of the vaccine this Wednesday, after completing the necessary paperwork, and after due technical considerations and technical advice from National Pharmaceutical Board.

MFDA said the administration of Sputnik V will be restricted to emergency use, for individuals above the age of 18 years.

It is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by MFDA for emergency use, following Covishield, Sinopharm and Pfizer.

Sputnik V is currently approved for emergency use in 66 countries.

MFDA noted that the vaccine needs to be stored at -18 degree Celsius, and that the authority therefore granted approval for the vaccine under the condition that the cold chain be maintained at all times.

MFDA said that the authority, along with Health Ministry and Health Protection Agency (HPA) will be closely monitoring all the processes involved in the administration of the vaccine.

Approval for the Russian vaccine comes as Maldives battles an alarming surge in cases, coupled with a setback in its promising vaccination campaign  due to the depletion of its stock of Covishield vaccine from India, prompting authorities to suspend the administration of the vaccine.