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Hun Sen urges public to receive booster jabs

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A woman gets a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot last year. Hean Rangsey

Hun Sen urges public to receive booster jabs

Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 20 renewed his calls for the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19 with their booster shots. Currently, more than eight million people have received their third dose while more than one million people have received their fourth.

“Authorities have to strive to prepare for this campaign by targeting factory workers and collaborating with factory owners so that the workers will be given time off to get vaccinated as factories are places susceptible to infections. If the disease breaks out again, it will make things difficult,” he said.

Hun Sen requested that Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng collaborate with the factories to ensure the vaccination of factory workers and avert the risk of a renewed Covid-19 outbreak.

He stated that herd immunity was the result of the public’s willing participation in the vaccination campaigns, but now some people lacked awareness about the situation and when they see that there are no deaths and fewer reported infections, they perceive that a two-dose regimen is enough.

However, he said that the effectiveness of the two-dose course of vaccines has decreased with the arrival of new variants and that a booster should be given at minimum to increase each person’s immunity, otherwise the infections may continue.

“We still have at least six million people who need to get their third dose, some of whom are due to get a third shot already and some not. But most of them are due to get it and some are overdue in getting it,” he said.

Hun Sen also instructed relevant institutions and authorities to continue monitoring the situation and not lose control of the disease due to negligence. When appropriate, they must take whatever urgent actions necessary.

He emphasised that Covid-19 containment in poor countries does not depend on the overall strength of its health system, but on active prevention and getting the public’s participation.

“There are concerns for us because we are a country with a weak health system. The issue with that is that we’ve clearly shown that this isn’t a problem with a solution that relies on having a weak or strong health system, rather it relies on containment measures and the participation of the people,” Hun Sen said.

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