In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot.
Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer vaccines, are available only in Phnom Penh currently as the jabs require cold storage at a temperature lower than 80 degrees Celsius and Cambodia does not have this capability in the provinces yet.
“In the provinces, there is no such cooling system yet, but actually we plan to arrange this when this cooling system arrives in our country with UNICEF as the supplier. If everything goes as planned, the cooling systems may arrive in Cambodia in late February,” she added.
She continued that when the cooling systems arrive, the ministry will install and distribute it to the provincial health departments and the vaccines will be distributed in the same sequence as previously.
Vandine noted that other makes could also be administered as a fourth-dose in the foreseeable future.
“If we do not have the Pfizer vaccines, we can also use the AstraZeneca or Moderna jabs. We can use them as a fourth dose. And if we do not have these two vaccines, then we can also use the Sinovac and Sinopharm jabs,” she said.
She called on people to get their third doses anywhere in the country and fourth shot in Phnom Penh.
On January 10, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered municipal and provincial governors and authorities at all levels to encourage people to get their fourth dose with the Pfizer vaccines.
“I have issued an order to inoculate anyone from anywhere with Pfizer in Phnom Penh should they request it. If anyone wants to get the Pfizer vaccines, we will administer them because the jabs cannot be taken out to the countryside as they require cold storage at lower than 80 degrees Celsius,” Hun Sen said.
According to the health ministry, Cambodia has vaccinated 89.42 per cent of an estimated population of 16 million.
Vaccinations have so far been for those aged 5 and older, and the government is considering jabs for children aged 3-4.
“There is no final decision on children aged 3 and 4. We have to wait and see if there are any negative effects in various other countries that have jabbed three and four-year-olds,” Hun Sen said last week.