Health Protection Agency HPA has urged the citizens of the Greater Male' Area to get the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the upcoming Ramadan.

In an announcement today, HPA said that currently, authorities are administering the 1st dose of the Chinese COVID vaccine Sinopharm in the greater Male' Area and urged those between the ages of 18 to 60 to get their initial shots as soon as possible.

HPA said that during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, vaccination would be carried out during a limited amount of time and urged all to get their jabs before Ramadan.

The Agency shared vital information about the Chinese developed vaccine and said that Sinopharm is an inactivated vaccine. HPA said that it was developed by Sinopharm and Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co-Ltd of China.

Sinopharm's coronavirus vaccines being displayed at the China Service Fair, September 6, 2020. /CFP

HPA clarified that the Sinopharm vaccine has been approved for use in 25 countries across the world.

The Agency noted that children below 18 years of age, patients with active COVID-19, people with diseases or on medication that make their immune system weak as well as pregnant women cannot receive the Sinopharm vaccine.

In its announcement today, HPA also said that the previously administered Covishield vaccine would now be given as a 2nd dose.

HPA had overseen the vaccination of over 230,130 individuals in the Maldives including 128,293 from the Greater Male' Area and 101,837 from the Atolls.