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Kingdom’s jab supply ‘abundant’

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Three million doses of Sinovac arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom’s jab supply ‘abundant’

A senior Ministry of Health official said Cambodia has an abundant supply of Covid-19 vaccines secured for the people and that no one who is medically eligible will be denied vaccination should they request it.

Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the remarks while receiving another three million doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccines at Phnom Penh International Airport on September 28.

The latest Sinovac shipment will be administered as booster shots to people who have already completed a two-dose regimen.

“We have in total six million doses of Sinovac vaccines, which we are preparing to administer as boosters to the general population.

“Cambodia does not lack for vaccines – now or later – because we will continue to receive assistance from our Chinese friends, the Covax Facility and also through bilateral agreements with Cambodia’s many friends, donors and development partners around the world.

“If we require more vaccines, the government won’t remain indifferent to necessity and will immediately order more from our dear Chinese friends,” she said.

Cambodia has sourced most of the Covid-19 vaccines from the Chinese biopharmaceutical companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm, both through direct purchases from the firms and via donations facilitated by the Chinese government as aid to Cambodia.

Or Vandine, health ministry spokeswoman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said people in Cambodia are fortunate to not have to worry about vaccine supplies, unlike most in other developing nations who have had relatively little access to them.

“We have enough vaccines for everybody, but please wait until you are four to six months after your second dose, then go for booster shot,” she said while attending a vaccines campaign wrap-up event in Tbong Khmum province on September 28.

To date, the capital and 17 provinces have completed their Covid-19 vaccination campaigns with the remainder of Cambodia’s provinces likely to do so as well in the near future.

But Vandine also raised concerns about the rising number of Covid-19 cases despite the widespread use of vaccines throughout the country.

“We have to ask ourselves why the case numbers are still rising. Why? Does every individual practice the protective measures and follow the three do’s and three don’ts? The virus will continue to circulate until we all take our personal responsibilities seriously and put a stop to it,” she said.

As of September 27, Cambodia had vaccinated 98.87 per cent of the target adult population of 10 million and 89.21 per cent of the 12-17 age group of nearly two million. Vaccinations for children aged 6-11 have reached 82.41 per cent of that population of nearly 1.9 million.

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