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IBS unable to supply vaccines, Maldives looking elsewhere | India News

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NEW DELHI: With the Maldives awaiting the second dose of Covishield vaccine for about 1.1 lakh people, and the Serum Institute of India (SII) unable to meet its commercial commitments, the Malé government has ordered AstraZeneca vaccines since abroad. However, Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem also told TOI in an interaction on Monday that Male is not looking to sign any trade deals with China for vaccines.
China is donating 10 lakh of doses to Nepal this week and has signed an agreement with Bangladesh for 1.5 crore of doses. While Beijing has also donated its Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives, the main requirement for India’s Indian Ocean neighbor remains the Covishield or AstraZeneca vaccine. Almost 2.3 lakh people in the Maldives, out of the almost 3.1 lakh who received the first dose, have been given Covishield.
Since IBS was unable to deliver the remaining 1 lakh doses for which it had signed an agreement with Male, Naseem said that the Maldives was indeed facing a problem.
When asked if India’s decision to effectively ban the export of vaccines had affected the local vaccination program, Naseem said: “Yes, as some are already past the twelfth week after receiving the first dose of Covishield vaccine. “.
“We have vaccinated 2.3 lakh people with the first dose of Covishield, and 1.1 lakh are vaccinated with the second dose. Therefore, there are 1.09 lakhs of people who have not yet received the second dose, ”added Naseem.
“We have ordered the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine can be given as a second dose to those who received the first dose of Covishield, ”he said. Naseem said that China had donated 2 lakh doses of Sinopharm, but added that Male was not considering signing any commercial contracts with Beijing for the vaccine. The problem for the Maldives is that there are some 60,000 people for whom the extended 12-week interval between the two doses is about to elapse.



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