The national Covid-19 vaccination committee is set to begin distributing coronavirus jabs across the country to inoculate frontline workers and target groups with a fifth dose from June 9, even though the pandemic has effectively been brought under control.

The Ministry of Health reported on June 6 that Cambodia had not recorded any new Covid-19 cases for the past 30 consecutive days, with only one patient remaining hospitalised.

According to its June 6 report, the latest case was detected back on May 7.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on June 1 that Cambodia was able to prevent the virus spreading thanks to the government’s efforts to secure adequate Covid-19 vaccines for the public. The “extraordinarily successful” vaccination campaign was the driving factor behind the reduction – and eventual cessation – of community transmission, he added.

“The government continues to call on the public to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Although there are currently no new cases or deaths occurring within Cambodia, the virus is still lurking in many other countries in the region and the world, and may re-appear here,” he said.

Or Vandine, head of the vaccination committee, detailed plans for the June 9 rollout of the fifth dose of vaccines.

“Receiving the fifth booster shot will boost the immune system of individuals, as well as to keep our community immune systems strong enough to continue to prevent the spread of Covid-19, especially new variants,” she said on June 6.

According to the committee’s May 20 report, the jabs will be given to government leaders, members of the Senate and National Assembly, public and private health workers, civil servants, police and local authorities.

The same source said people over 60 years of age, embassy staff, national and international organisations, journalists, members of the Cambodian artist association, and people with weakened immune systems would also be eligible, provided they had received their fourth dose at least three months prior.

According to the health ministry’s latest vaccination report, more than 15 million people – or 95.04 per cent of the Kingdom’s estimated population of 16 million – had been vaccinated as of June 3. More than nine million people had received their third dose and over 2.5 million had gotten their fourth.