Several foreign diplomats stationed at embassies in Cambodia wrote letters of thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen for providing AstraZeneca/Covishield Covid-19 vaccines to their embassy’s staff.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn wrote a letter to Hun Sen on April 4, informing him of the gratitude expressed by the diplomats to Cambodia.
“The Brunei embassy in Cambodia and diplomats from nations such as France, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia all deeply thank Samdech Techo Prime Minister and the Royal Government of Cambodia for providing their embassies with Covid-19 vaccinations,” Sokhonn said.
The Brunei embassy said they believed Cambodia was perhaps the first country in the world to provide its diplomatic community with vaccinations.
In a letter dated March 24 addressed to Sokhonn, the Brunei embassy wrote: “No one is safe until everyone is safe during this trying time . . . His Excellency [Hun Sen] was true to his word. Cambodia is a small country, but one with a big heart. We are thankful.”
Malaysia’s ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim sent a letter to Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng expressing his heartfelt gratitude to him and Sokhonn for all of the vaccination assistance their ministries have provided to Malaysia’s embassy officials and their family members.
“The vaccination process went very smoothly and it was well organised. We truly appreciate your kind cooperation. We look forward to receiving our second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines in a few weeks,” the letter stated.
The embassy of the Republic of Indonesia issued a similar statement that said: “[We] have the honour to commend [Cambodia’s] generous provision of vaccines, something that truly reflects the genuine efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to fight the Covid-19 pandemic through international cooperation.
“By providing these vaccinations, Cambodia has set a good example for how international communities should cooperate and work together to fight the pandemic,” the statement read.
The health ministry said on March 5 that 140,773 people had now received Sinovac vaccines as part of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive that kicked off on April 1.
Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine – also the chairwoman of the vaccination commission – reminded the heads of the vaccination sub-commissions in each ministry that they must not permit anyone to be vaccinated other than their own ministry’s civil servants.
“The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction have now administered more vaccines than the total amount of vaccines that they originally requested. This causes problems like a lack of vaccines to provide second shots.
“If each ministry keeps taking other people who are not staff members to get the jab we won’t have sufficient vaccines to administer them to all civil servants,” she said.
She added that it is important they pay close attention because 1.5 million doses of the vaccines would only cover 745,000 people.
“If a department head fails to meet their set target, please take responsibility for it in front of the prime minister because we can’t just be letting whoever we want in to get jabs,” she said.