Maldives was listed among the 92 low and middle-income countries eligible to access COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Launched on June 4, the COVAX AMC will partially cover the cost of vaccine procurement for the 92 countries, which include all economies with Gross National Income (GNI) per capita figures below USD 4,000 and other countries that qualify for assistance from World Bank International Development Association (IDA).
The AMC is part of the COVAX Facility, which aims to ensure rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
Co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), COVAX has a target to procure and deliver two billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021. This is intended to cover 20 per cent of the populations of each participating country.
COVAX acts as a global platform to support the research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of potential COVID-19 vaccines. The facility currently has nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates in its portfolio.
A total of 78 higher-income countries have already confirmed their interest in participating in the COVAX Facility.
COVAX is part of WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration to expedite the development, production and provision of equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Vaccines set aside for health workers and high-risk individuals
Speaking to local media outlet Mihaaru, Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC)’s Spokesperson Dr Nazla Rafeeq revealed that Maldivian authorities would reserve vaccines secured through the COVAX AMC for health workers operating on the frontline of the country’s COVID-19 response and individuals facing a higher risk of mortality from the virus.
While vaccines from COVAX AMC are intended to cover 20 per cent of the population, Dr Nazla further disclosed that vaccine allocations for health professionals and social workers would amount to three per cent of the population while the remaining 17 per cent of the populace which will receive the vaccine will include senior citizens over the age of 70 or individuals struggling with serious illnesses.
However, the HEOC Spokesperson noted that groups prioritised for vaccination would be influenced by availability as well as the specific characteristics of the COVID-19 vaccine which may be developed and approved.
Overall, she highlighted that Maldivian authorities would administer vaccines based on recommendations from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).
According to population statistics from 2020 and projections for 2021, between 111,000 to 113,600 will represent 20 per cent of the Maldivian population.
The Maldives currently records a total of 10,014 virus cases of which 1,300 are active cases, in addition to 8,673 recoveries and 34 deaths.
During last month, authorities tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male’ region, following an alarming upsurge of COVID-19 cases after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a ‘new normal’ with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions.
After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers have fallen to two-digits during the most part of September. Within this same period, the number of recoveries saw a significant increase, bringing the number of recovered cases to 86.4 per cent.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives’ capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 32.5 million people and claimed over 989,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 23.9 million people have recovered.
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Source URL: Google News