President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has declared that the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens of Maldives, in the coming months. This was stated during an address to the nation on Wednesday afternoon (20th January 2021), ahead of the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines to Maldives from India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca “Covishield” Vaccine delivered to Maldives were produced by the Serum Institute of India and deployed under a special grant program between the two countries.
President Solih further expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of himself and the citizens of Maldives to India and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressing on their boundless generosity and the enduring friendship between the two countries. India has long been the first responder to Maldives in times of crises and emergencies.
President Solih also detailed that the government had been proactively working with health professionals in ensuring the protection of all citizens of Maldives since the infection was first discovered in the first quarter of 2020. In this regard, the government had instantly begun procurement efforts to ensure that enough doses were acquired to vaccinate all Maldivians and the efforts have been successful.
During the closing remarks, President Solih emphasized on the importance of individual responsibility even during this time of renewed hope, and implored citizens to be cautious to follow the lead of health professionals.