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First quartet of provinces wrap up jab drives as boosters begin

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People get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Preah Sihanouk province. PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

First quartet of provinces wrap up jab drives as boosters begin

Four provinces on September 6 completed their vaccination drives for people aged 18 and over and are now getting ready to start administering booster shots.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine, who also serves as the head of the Covid-19 vaccination commission, said the country’s vaccination campaign is heading to its completions soon.

Speaking in Kampong Thom province on September 6 where she was delivering gifts from Prime Minister Hun Sen to centenarians who volunteered to get vaccinated, Vandine predicted that vaccinations for the initial target adult population of 10 million would finish up later this month.

“I received an approval from [Hun Sen] to finish vaccinations in Kandal, Preah Sihanouk, and Kep. I also requested that Pailin province finish up their vaccination campaign,” Vandine said, mentioning the four provinces that have wrapped up their jab drives.

The ceremonial ending for the vaccination campaigns will take place in Kandal on September 8, and Preah Sihanouk and Kep on September 10, according to Vandine. Pailin has yet to set a date for the event.

Vandine has been on a mission to deliver Hun Sen’s gifts to centenarians for showing leadership and community spirit by volunteering for vaccinations since July.

She has met with over 100 Cambodians aged 100 and over, often accompanied by World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan.

“Over the past two months and five days, we have travelled more than 10,000km on bumpy roads and under heavy rains, through forests, up one mountain side and down the other, even in the dead of night, to thank more than 100 of Cambodia’s most venerable and senior citizens, all of them aged 100 at minimum on up to 114 years old.

“Other centenarians will also be receiving these gifts from the prime minister and I hope that we can declare mission accomplished soon along with the completion of vaccinations for people ages 18 and over,” she said.

Although vaccinations are scheduled to end soon, people who missed out can still get their shots for free when supplies are available at designated locations like state hospitals.

She urged those who missed their jabs to contact the municipal and provincial administration.

Through September 8, two hospitals in the capital – Preah Ang Duong and the National Pediatric Hospital – were offering free jabs to anyone who walked up as long as they had a valid ID card or passport. It is currently unclear whether that programme will continue or not past that date.

According to the daily vaccination progress report on September 6, Cambodia had vaccinated more than 96.09 per cent of the target adult population of 10 million and 85.55 per cent of the 12-17 age group of nearly two million.

The total vaccinated population, therefore, is a remarkable 70.57 per cent of the Kingdom’s population of 16 million.

The figure places Cambodia among the top nations in the world for vaccinations relative to its population – ahead of the US and roughly equal to the UK, Germany and France.

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