A senior Ministry of Health official said Cambodia will receive more than seven million additional Covid-19 vaccine doses before the end of September, both through the generous assistance of other nations and COVAX – a global mechanism aimed at ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 jabs.

While receiving more than 520,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by Hungary at Phnom Penh International Airport on March 15, ministry secretary of state York Sambath

said the Kingdom has no shortage of vaccines available for its people. She noted that Cambodia now has a stockpile of more than six million doses as the country prepares for the booster campaign for young children.

“We have the vaccines from Hungary, which we just received tonight [March 16], there are more than a million on the way from Italy, about 100,000 doses from India, and COVAX is expected to provide a further 5.5 million shots,” she said.

The ministry has prepared freezers for the newly arrived vaccines, as they require storage at -80 degrees Celsius, she added.

She also addressed the initiative of the prime minister to establish a factory which will fill and package vaccines for domestic use. The ministry has had positive discussions with Chinese authorities and progress was being made.

“We hope that the investment to build the facility will be prepared by the end of 2022 or early next year. We have enough vaccines for this year,” she said.

The Hungarian-donated Astra Zeneca vaccines will be handed over to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the morning of March 18 at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.

Or Vandine, ministry spokeswoman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said on March 15 that the inoculation process in Cambodia has achieved strong results, with up to 92 per cent of the Kingdom’s estimated population of 16 million having received the jabs.

“We are almost eight months ahead of our own projections and are working on accelerating the vaccination campaign further. We are very proud of the successes we have had,” she said.