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Ministry: Get your second shot

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People get vaccinated against Covid-19 on the closing day of the vaccination campaign in Phnom Penh on July 8. Heng Chivoan

Ministry: Get your second shot

The Ministry of Health has explained that the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine does not create a strong immune system response, thus leaving those who do not receive their second shot vulnerable to the disease.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine – who is also head of the national Covid-19 vaccination commission – said on July 18 that some people might think that after getting the first dose, they will immediately have total immunity from the virus when in fact they are still vulnerable to the disease and must continue to take preventive safety measures.

“When the virus enters our organs and our organs have no immunity – we cannot defeat Covid-19. So, the likelihoods of contracting the disease, sickness and death is possible at all times during the vaccination interval,” she said, adding that even two doses of the vaccine need an interval afterwards for the vaccine to create immunity.

She said if individuals get infected during the interval between the first and second doses without symptoms and the symptoms only shows up after the second shot, it indicates that the two doses of the vaccine were not able to defeat Covid-19 in their bodies.

“This is why preventive measures must be implemented at all time to avoid the virus entering our organs,” she said.

She reiterated that Cambodia was about to cross the red line if individuals and family members still do not pay attention and take responsibility to prevent it.

“I raise concerns and ask our people to protect themselves respectively and seriously. Do not relent in the fight against it if we do not want to see public health tragedy that can occur beyond that red line,” she said.

The health ministry announced on July 16 that it had detected another 37 cases of the Delta variant in passengers from Thailand on the Cambodian-Thai border and in airline passengers, bringing the total to 75 since it was first detected on March 31.

Vandine said what is more important now, regardless of the Delta or Alpha variant, is that people have to be united in carrying out protective measures because the Alpha variant is dominating almost every province and town and deaths are confirmed every day.

“Why are we afraid only of the Delta variant and do not take precautions? Currently, what we are doing is to cut the transmission chain of Alpha variant or whatever variant of Covid-19. So, protect yourself and prevent it from spreading to family members and others, it is of the utmost necessity,” she added.

As of July 18, Cambodia had recorded a total of 67,181 Covid-19 cases with 58,930 recoveries and 1,106 fatalities.

On July 18 alone, the ministry reported 845 Covid-19 cases, 315 of which were imported. It also reported 30 new deaths.

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