Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has revealed that the first dose of COVID vaccine has been administered to 90% of the tourism industry workers in Maldives.
Speaking at an interview given to CNBC international, Minister said that it is important to make Maldives a safe haven for travelers around the globe. The destination continues its efforts to be to be among the first countries to administer the COVID-19 vaccination to all working in the tourism sector.
“Our main aim is to initially vaccinate the entire population of Maldives,” Minister said. “We will then move on to the 3V program; visit, vaccinate, vacation initiative. So the timeline to launch this initiative depends on how fast we can get the whole population vaccinated and the supply of the vaccines.”
Minister Mausoom highlighted that the country received vaccine donations by the Government of India and China and by various other parties. While there is a new order of vaccines placed to Singapore, Minister said that the country currently have adequate stock of vaccines.
Minister further added that with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for tourism sector employees, Maldives now expects to welcome 1.5 million tourist arrivals in 2021. With this, the destination will also achieve the target of 10 million bed nights in 2021.
Maldives commenced the nation wide vaccination program on 1st February 2021. The first round of the vaccination in the Maldives has seen the rollout of Covishield vaccine. The “Covishield” brand vaccine administered, is developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and had the same formula as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Two shots of the vaccine are required to complete the dosage, with 4-12 weeks required between the two shots. Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) stated the second dose will be administered 8 weeks after the first dose.