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People's Daily Online

Maldives to begin second dose of COVID-19 vaccination

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:00, March 09, 2021

MALE, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The Maldives will begin administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines next Monday, local media quoting the Minister of Health reported Tuesday.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem said the government hopes to finish administering the first dose of the Covishield vaccine and begin the second dose by next Monday.

"The opportunity is open for everyone above the age of 18 years to get vaccinated," Nassem was quoted saying in the Sun Online.

The Maldives has so far administered the first dose of the vaccine to 157,813 people, at a rate of around 5,000 to 8,000 per day, since the vaccinations began on Feb. 1.

The country is primarily using the Covishield vaccine based on the Oxford AstraZeneca formula and produced by the Serum Institute of India.

The nation also received 12,000 doses of vaccine on Sunday from the COVAX facility, an initiative by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Meanwhile, officials from the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) warned that Maldives' healthcare system may be overloaded due to a high rate of hospitalizations.

The Maldives currently has 2,595 active cases of COVID-19, out of which 179 have been hospitalized for treatment, according to the latest data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

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