Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom

5,000 employees in tourism sector to receive vaccine in the first round

Tourism Minister, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has said that 5,000 employees working in the tourism sector will be receiving the vaccine in the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Maldives launched a nation-wide vaccination program on Monday with the Covishield vaccine donated by the Indian government who supplied 100,000 doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine which can inoculate 50,000 people.

In an interview with One Online yesterday, Minister Mausoom said that 10,000 doses have been allocated for 5,000 employees who work in the frontlines of the tourism industry close to the tourists. And so, all tourist facilities have been notified to send names for the first recipients of the vaccine.

He said that although only 5,000 from the tourism industry are getting vaccinated in the first round, more will be vaccinated when more shipments arrive between the first and the second dose of the vaccine.

Health Minister, Ahmed Naseem has previously said that the vaccine being delivered via the WHO’s COVAX Facility will be arriving in middle of this month and the first shipment from the 700,000 doses of the vaccine bought by the Maldives will be delivered next month.

And while the Pfizer vaccine is set to be bought and 5,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine developed in China have been received, these are vaccines donated to the country. However, the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) are yet to approve these two vaccines.