The Ministry of Health will begin the first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations for nearly 100,000 workers on April 7, with Prime Minister Hun Sen urging vaccinations for workers in the informal economy to also begin as soon as possible.
Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine: “Our vaccination plan is for 745,000 people, of whom 100,000 are workers. We’ve already reserved Covid-19 vaccines for them; nevertheless this vaccine cannot cover every worker. Those not vaccinated in the first phase will have vaccines provided to them once more jabs are available.”
Vandine said across the country the vaccination campaign was going smoothly but that it should be accelerated if possible because the vaccine protects human lives against the Covid-19 virus.
“The benefits of this vaccine are enormous. Therefore, I would like to ask our workers to understand any [supply] problems that might arise. Other countries also want the vaccines for their people. Our country is providing it free of charge to our people to keep them healthy,” she said on April 3.
According to Vandine, more than 50,000 people were vaccinated in just two days with nearly 20,000 people getting the jab on April 1 and over 30,000 on April 2. This represented a three-fold increase in volunteers compared to the first campaign that began on February 10.
She said the national commission overseeing the campaign has expanded the number of vaccination sites from 109 to 250 across the country and that in Phnom Penh alone they have expanded from five to 48 sites in order to expedite the process.
Heng Sour, spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, said in an interview on local television on April 1 that vaccinations for workers would begin on April 7 at nine targeted locations.
Vaccination sites have been prepared at Canadia Industrial Park, Vattanac Industrial Park and ISI Industrial Park, which are all located along Veng Sreng Street where factories are concentrated. Those three sites have around 50,000 workers between them.
“We also have vaccination sites at Vattanac Bank and Vattanac Industrial Park II on National Road 3, the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone and at four other factories with a large number of workers. On April 7 we will start with these nine sites before expanding to other factories,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 2 urged the health ministry and the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration to also give priority status to workers in the informal economy.
“I request that the commission urgently prepare to begin vaccinations for vendors of fish, vegetables and meats and other vulnerable vendors and informal workers. Taxi and cyclo drivers and other [transportation sector workers] need to get the vaccine,” he said.