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Covid jab committee reminds parents of booster importance

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A girl receives a booster shot at a hospital in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district in February. Heng Chivoan

Covid jab committee reminds parents of booster importance

The national Covid-19 vaccination committee has reminded parents to bring their children aged 5 and older to get their booster doses following revelations of dismal vaccination rates in the category.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman and head of the committee, said municipal and provincial Covid-19 vaccination commissions were continuing to administer third or booster doses for children at various sites including national and referral hospitals, health centres and other designated sites across the country.

“Despite the children having already been vaccinated with two doses, [uptake of] the third or booster shot is still limited. The commission would like to remind those in this age group that it is time to get vaccinated … they can do so at vaccination sites every day, by showing their Covid-19 vaccination card,” she said.

The committee added that those aged 5 years and above can get the third or booster dose of the vaccine at a minimum of three months after they have recovered from Covid-19 infection.

“The third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, or booster shot, is to strengthen and boost the immune system of individuals and communities ... This allows us to free ourselves from a severe case of Covid-19,” she said.

Vandine warned the public not to let their guard down, saying that the new Omicron sub-variant is still circulating in the community. She noted that other new viruses could be actively circulating in the region and the world.

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng issued an announcement urging those aged 18 and above to get vaccinated and to also bring their children aged between 3-18 to get their third doses “as soon as possible”.

The announcement also noted that the municipal administration may tighten checks on the validity of vaccination cards “if necessary”.

Sreng said that the municipal administration will prohibit those without Covid-19 vaccination cards or in possession of vaccination cards without proof of third or booster dose receipt to enter indoor premises such as shopping malls, supermarkets and factories.

The public can continue to receive Covid-19 vaccinations at the municipal health department as well as referral hospitals and health centres anywhere in the capital’s 14 districts.

Outside the capital, preparations are being made to administer additional booster shots to the public.

In Koh Kong province, deputy governor Tou Savuth chaired a meeting on April 26 to prepare the third and fourth doses of the vaccine for workers and residents.

During the meeting, Savuth said the provincial administration has promoted the vaccination to residents. He noted that Koh Kong has organised vaccinations at accessible sites such as health centres on a regular basis, and had launched public campaigns in all 119 villages in the province.

“We set up sites at provincial car parks to administer jabs to the public, taxi drivers and workers who travel through the fishing port in Bak Khlang commune and Cham Yeam market. At schools, we have collaborated with the provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sports in order to promote vaccination to all students,” he said.

A report by the health ministry showed that as of April 25, 93.12 per cent of the population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 8.2 million third doses and 1.4 million fourth doses having been administered.

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