Last week, Maldives started rolling out a nation-wide vaccination program against the widespread Coronavirus disease. Different people-groups were identified to prioritize for immunization based on age, health and occupation.

On the fourth day of the immunization drive, direct and indirect players of the tourism industry were called to receive the jab against COVID-19.

Hotel owners, resort workers, travel agents and tour operators, airline crew, and even talent such as musicians and music bands who perform at tourist facilities were invited and vaccinated in Malé, the capital of Maldives.

In the vaccination drive, Maldives is currently using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and labeled CoviShield. Other vaccines, such as the ones produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm are to arrive soon too.

Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said the government will be vaccinating up to 10,000 people working in the tourism industry during the first phase of the drive.

The Minister said arrangements will be made for staff in resorts around the country to visit the vaccination center closest to them, to receive the jab. He also said that teams of healthcare workers will visit bigger tourist resorts to vaccinate staff.

Until last night, some 6,800 people received their first doze of vaccine against COVID-19. The people groups included are frontline workers such as people involved in healthcare, essential services and education; and the elderly.