Seniors, immunocompromised to receive Covid booster shot

An elderly man is administered the Covishield vaccine at the Social Center in Male' on February 9, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has announced the decision to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to individuals above the age of 60 years and immunocompromised individuals. 

In a statement on Thursday evening, HPA announced that the Maldives Technical Advisory Group on Immunization has advised for a vaccine booster shot to be administered to those at risk of developing serious illness due to COVID-19 and frontline health workers. 

HPA said that it has therefore decided to administer booster shots to two groups of individuals; individuals above the age of 60 years and individuals with compromised immune systems. 

This includes: 

  • Individuals who have undergone organ transplant 
  • Individuals on immunosuppressants (including Methotrexate, Leflunomide, Mycophenolate, Tacrolimus, Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporine, Azathioprine and Biologics such as Rituximab, Tocilizumab, Infliximab, Tofacitinib) 
  • Individuals on long-term steroids (10 mg or higher for over one month) 
  • Dialysis patients 
  • Cancer patients on treatment or who have been on treatment less than one year ago 
  • Individuals who are obese (BMI of 40 or more) 
  • Individuals taking or recommended oxygen therapy at home by a doctor due to pulmonary disease 
  • Individuals with pulmonary diseases such as COPS, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, or interstitial lung disease 
  • Individuals with liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis 
  • Diabetes patients with organ damage 
  • Individuals who are bedridden due to old age or disease 

HPA said that Pfizer vaccine will be administered as a booster shot. The booster shot will be administered minimum 60 days after the administration of the second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Administration of booster shots will begin on October 3. 

Booster shots will be administered in three hospitals in the greater Male’ region. They are: 

  • ADK Hospital: 09:00 am to 02:00 pm 
  • Hulhumale’ Hospital: 09:00 am to 02:00 pm 
  • Vilimale’ Hospital: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 

Appointments for booster shots can be booked through HPA’s portal.