Health Minister: 700,000 vaccine doses will arrive within 3 months

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem said on Wednesday that Maldives will receive shipments of 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines within the next three months, with the first batch of 200,000 set to arrive in late June.

Maldivian government signed an agreement with AstraZeneca Singapore Pte Ltd for the procurement of 700,000 vaccine doses in December.

 Naseem previously said the vaccines will arrive in Maldives this June.

In a press conference by Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) last Wednesday night, Naseem said the vaccines will arrive in Maldives in batches over the next three months. He said the first batch will arrive in late June.

Naseem said that 200,000 doses will arrive in June, 200,000 more doses in July, and 300,000 doses in August.

Maldivian government has also signed an agreement for procurement of 300,000 doses Covishield vaccine with Serum Institute of India. Maldives received just 100,000 doses before India paused the export of vaccines due to escalation of its domestic COVID-19 situation.

Maldives launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign with Covishied vaccine doses donated from India back in February. The decision by India to pause export of vaccines has had a massive impact on Maldives’ promising vaccination campaign, forcing the country to halt mass administration of Covishield vaccines, and leaving tens of thousands unable to get their second vaccine shot.