COVID-19 Corona Virus

Large portion of free vaccine from COVAX Facility to be given to high risk people

Health Ministry has said that a high priority would be given to health workers and high risk people when giving the vaccine provided free to the Maldives by the COVAX Facility.

Speaking on Raajje TV’s “Falasurukhee” program last night, Pediatrician at member of the Steering Committee at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Dr. Ahmed Faisal, said that with the Maldives joining the COVAX Facility, free vaccine can be provided to 20 percent of the population. And three percent of that vaccine will be for front line medical professionals.

Dr. Faisal said that all the countries have decided to give three percent of the vaccine to front line workers and 17 percent for elderly and high risk people that may be life threatening if they contract the illness.

National Bureau of Statistics show an estimate of 557.426 people living in the Maldives which means free vaccine would be received to give to 11,485 people.

COVAX Facility is a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, 171 countries have joined including 71 countries with higher income economies.

The country has been preparing storage for the vaccine and the country will be acquiring vaccine outside the COVAX Facility as well when its released to the global market and there are no budget difficulties to do so.

While a number of countries are working on a vaccine for COVID-19, the Maldives is working on getting the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in Oxford, England and the vaccine developed by the US biotechnology company, Moderna. The Maldivian government has said that the country will be receiving the vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.