President: 500,000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccine due to be received in July

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that 500,000 doses of the Astrazeneca-Oxford University developed COVID-19 vaccine will be received by the Maldives sometime next month. 

President Solih was speaking in a press conference today when he said that the Astrazeneca company in Singapore had confirmed that the Maldives would receive the vaccine next month. President Solih said that the company had informed the government of the decision in a meeting held today.

"In that meeting, the company guaranteed us that 500,000 doses if the vaccine would be provided to us in July," said the President. 

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has previously said that the vaccine procured from Astrazeneca, a total of 700,000 doses, would be provided in three phases. Minister Naseem had said that the first phase of the vaccine would be received in May. He had also said that 200,000 doses would be received in July and that the remaining doses would be received by end of August. 

The Maldives also has an agreement with the Serum Institute of India for 300,000 doses of the same vaccine. So far, only 100,000 doses of the vaccine had been received. 

There have been delays in administering the second dose of the vaccine to the people who have received the first dose, due to the delays. However, the HPA today said that upon the advise of the WHO, the second dose of the vaccine would be moved to be administered within six months, moving the timeline from 12 weeks. 

The Maldives also has an agreement with Russia to procure 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and Minister Naseem today said that a non-disclosure agreement had been signed with for the vaccine and the vaccine supply agreement signing would soon commence. 

"We have assurances that we will get the vaccine within four weeks of signing the supply agreement," said the President today. 

A date for the agreement signing was not disclosed today. 

The President also spoke on the pledged supply of vaccines by the United States of America. He said that he was hopeful that the vaccine would be received sometime this month. However, the President said that the number of vaccine doses or the type of vaccines had not yet been finalized and informed by the US.