Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Coronavirus jab drive for 5-year-olds starts Nov 1

Coronavirus jab drive for 5-year-olds starts Nov 1

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Children aged 6-11 received Covid-19 jabs at Pochentong Referral Hospital in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district last month. Heng Chivoan

Coronavirus jab drive for 5-year-olds starts Nov 1

Cambodia is set to launch the Covid-19 jab campaign for children aged 5 as vaccinations for those aged 6 and older are nearly complete.

“Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen will announce the kick-off of the jab drive on November 1. He has instructed the capital and provincial governors to get ready to begin the campaign on Monday,” said Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine.

Vandine, who also serves as head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said she had already disseminated the information to all municipal and provincial authorities.

The health ministry first issued a public notice about vaccinations for children aged 5 on October 30.

“The ministry will use Sinovac vaccines to inoculate children aged 5 for their first and second doses in the capital and all provinces from November 1, with a gap of 28 days between the first and second shots,” the notice said.

The ministry told all sub-committees for vaccination rollout to prepare the vaccines as well as hygiene measures to prevent the possible transmission of the coronavirus during the campaign. Medical workers will check the children’s health before and after vaccinations.

The ministry called on parents and guardians to participate in this campaign at the locations announced by the authorities. They are required to bring one of the following forms of identification for their child: Birth certificate, family or residence book or passport. Civil servants can use their work ID.

The ministry also announced that vaccinations for five-year-old children of government officials, diplomats and those with the honorific Oknha, among others, will be vaccinated at designated hospitals on set dates in Phnom Penh between November 1 and 14.

Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng on October 31 requested that all residents bring their five-year-old children for vaccination, with the first doses administered from November 1-14 and the second shots from November 28 to December 11 at 42 different vaccination sites across the capital’s 14 districts.

Several other provinces made separate announcements on October 31, calling on residents to bring their five-year-olds to get the jabs starting November 1.

As of October 30, Cambodia had vaccinated 99.98 per cent of the adult population of 10 million, 97.88 per cent of the 12-17 age group of over 1.8 million, and 101.16 per cent of the 6-11 age group of nearly 1.9 million.

Overall, Cambodia has vaccinated 85.66 per cent of the total population of around 16 million, while third-dose vaccinations have reached 1.9 million people.

Meantime, the health ministry has authorised five Russian-developed Covid-19 vaccines for temporary emergency use in Cambodia.

Five notices of emergency use authorisation (EUA), issued on October 29 and signed by health minister Mam Bun Heng, specify the jabs as Sputnik V, CoviVac, Sputnik Light and two versions of EpiVacCorona.

An EUA is valid only within the duration of the declared public health emergency due to Covid-19, the notices indicate, adding that the jabs are to be used according to the priorities set by the government, as stated in applicable distribution plans.

The ministry also instructed the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) to work with relevant institutions on improving the management of safety issues and clinical response to adverse effects of the vaccines.

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