Around 745,000 people across the country will begin receiving their Covid-19 jabs from April 1 onward as the government kicks off its vaccination campaign for the general population with 1.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine purchased from China, according to Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine.
Vandine, who also heads the National Covid-19 Vaccination Commission, said on March 30 the commission had determined that around 745,000 people are set receive the first of two required doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
“I would like to appeal to all people aged over 18 who are eligible for this vaccination to go and get inoculated voluntarily to protect yourself, your family and our community,” she said.
Vandine said the Covid-19 vaccine is an important tool when added to the existing health measures to contain the pandemic and save lives and that it helps individuals to avoid serious illness if they contract the virus, which reduces the number of hospitalisations and largely eliminates the occurrence of deaths among those who have been inoculated.
“The Covid-19 vaccines being used in the Kingdom have been thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy and are being used in many countries in the region and across the world. Sinovac’s CoronaVac has been safely used by millions of people already,” Vandine stressed.
As of March 31, Cambodia has acquired more than 3.12 million doses of vaccines, including 1.5 million doses of the Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, 1.3 million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine donated by China, and 324,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine received through the World Health Organisation’s Covax initiative.
Vandine said anyone who had not been vaccinated should consider doing so at this time, including medical workers, health officials, and all workers in both the public and private sectors – including foreigners who are working here legally.
Priority will still be given to officials from the National Assembly and Senate as well as journalists, members of the armed forces and civil servants in all ministries and institutions at the national and sub-national levels.
Also prioritised for this campaign are teachers, Electricite du Cambodge employees, members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Khmer Rouge Tribunal staff, State Secretariat of Civil Aviation and airlines staff members, and employees at the Royal Group and Canadia Group.
Another 700,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China were transported to Phnom Penh on March 31, with 400,000 and 300,000 of them going to the health ministry and Ministry of National Defence respectively.
Vandine said Cambodia is seeking to purchase enough vaccines to provide at least 10 million people with free vaccinations, as per the government’s plans for reaching “herd immunity” and stopping the spread of the virus.