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PM targets 13M people vaccinated for Covid-19

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Prime Minister Hun Sen is speaking during the ceremonial handover of 332,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan on the night of July 23. Heng Chivoan

PM targets 13M people vaccinated for Covid-19

Prime Minister Hun Sen has set a goal of vaccinating about 13 million people, or over 80 per cent of the population, against Covid-19.

The vaccination campaign for the 12-17 age group will begin on August 1 in Phnom Penh, with Hun Sen’s grandchildren slated as the first to be vaccinated.

Speaking during the ceremonial handover of 332,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan on the night of July 23, Hun Sen said over 65 per cent of the targeted adult population of 10 million had been vaccinated.

“My goal is to get more than 80 per cent [vaccinated]. At 12 million injections we have 75 per cent and at 13 million we will reach more than 81 per cent of the population of 16 million and then we will achieve herd immunity,” he said.

There are 10 million Cambodians over the age of 18, two million between the ages of 12 and 17 and one million children under 12 who are all now targeted for vaccinations. With those 13 million people vaccinated, the campaign will have reached 82.25 per cent of the population.

On August 1, Hun Sen will launch the vaccination campaign for the 12- 17 age group at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh where he will bring his grandchildren to be vaccinated. He will hold a press conference there as well.

“I call on parents to get their children vaccinated to end the pandemic. I hope that the remaining vaccines that we need for the campaign will be delivered to Cambodia soon. I hope we can complete the vaccination of the 10 million [adults] by October, along with the additional two million children and adolescents all over our country,” Hun Sen said.

“According to statistics, children and adolescents account for more than 190,000 of the population in Phnom Penh. But if we count those who come from the provinces to work in Phnom Penh with their children, then the number will rise to 280,000. We have to vaccinate them too.

“At any cost, the Cambodian government has to accomplish vaccinations for compatriots who have reached the right age for vaccination, as permitted by medical specialists. The world and Cambodia have a common hope – vaccination.

“We have seen a drop in the number of new transmission cases, especially in the areas of Phnom Penh where factories are concentrated,” he said.

Hun Sen said the two dose regimen of vaccines that Cambodia uses is similar to what is being done in the US, UK and EU – though they boast of having stronger vaccines.

“Whether you’re vaccinated or not vaccinated, the ‘three do’ and ‘three don’t’ preventive measures remain in place, which is for the best. Hopefully, our people, after the parents have been vaccinated, they will get their children aged 12 and over vaccinated,” he said.

As of July 24, more than 6.6 million people – or over 66 per cent of the targeted adult population of 10 million – have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on July 24 that in the next four days, the seven millionth person will be vaccinated and will receive a 10 million riel ($2,500) gift from the prime minister.

“With this good progress, we shall continue to suppress virus transmission and every one must implement the three do’s and three don’ts properly,” she tweeted.

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