A total of 168,000 teachers and other school staff members at all levels in the public and private sectors across the country have volunteered for vaccination against Covid-19, with the vaccination campaign in the Kingdom proceeding smoothly from April 1 through April 6.

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports spokesman Ros Soveacha said on April 6 that in accordance with the government’s policy, the ministry started providing vaccinations on April 1 to 168,000 public and private school staff members throughout the capital and provinces.

“From April 1 to 6, there were no significant incidents. Vaccination went on smoothly across the country,” he said.

He said that in Phnom Penh there were 34,731 volunteers in the education sector and that 58 per cent of them had received their first dose as of April 5.

The ministry plans to administer first doses through April 10 and the second doses from April 15 to April 24.

The education ministry has asked that all education sector workers register their names via the Android KhmerVacc mobile app or at the website https://cambodia-vaccine.gov.kh/patient/create in order to schedule their appointments.

Soveacha noted that – according to UNESCO – Cambodia is among just 17 countries in the world to prioritize vaccinations for teachers even though they have urged all countries to prioritise teachers in national vaccines rollout plans to ensure education can continue safely and schools can be opened.

Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA) president Ouk Chhayavy said that teachers, school administrators and staff had voluntarily registered for vaccination because it was the right thing to do for their own health and the health of their students.

“Most of the teachers are registered for vaccinations, and those who are not registered have pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or are pregnant or breastfeeding,” she said.

She said that she had heard from a number of teachers already who had been vaccinated via her organisations Telegram chat channels and that none of them had reported any side-effects or other problems from the Sinovac vaccines.