Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prisoners receiving fifth Covid-19 vaccinations

Prisoners receiving fifth Covid-19 vaccinations

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Inmates prepare to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Preah Vihear Provincial Prison in December last year. SUPPLIED

Prisoners receiving fifth Covid-19 vaccinations

The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons (GDP), in coordination with health departments nationwide, are now offering a fifth dose of Covid-19 vaccines to inmates in prisons and correctional centres across the country, according GDP spokesman Nuth Savna.

Savna said that many of the Kingdom’s 38,000 prisoners had received their second, third and fourth doses, and added that the majority have been vaccinated against Covid-19, although a small portion have not received the jab due to health reasons.

“Almost all prison officials have been vaccinated … We keep careful records of each prisoner to determine when it is time for their next jab, and arrange times for each of them to get vaccinated, and the provincial health departments coordinate the process,” he said.

He added that new prisoners’ vaccination statuses are checked upon entry, and that the pertinent data is added into the system.

“When it is time for them to get vaccinated, [we] prepare them as a group for health workers to administer the inoculations,” Savna said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, said offering the fifth dose to inmates is an effective way to prevent and curb the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, but warned that overcrowding could undermine the GDP’s vaccination efforts.

“We are worried that new variants may spread into prisons. Solving the overcrowding problem may be more necessary than merely offering booster shots to inmates,” he added.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine, who doubles as the head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, called on everyone to get their third, fourth and fifth boosters, especially frontline workers, the over 60s, and other target groups.

“Please pay close attention to the Covid-19 restriction measures. Never play down or forget about them. Although we have recorded no new deaths or infections for more than a month, the pandemic is not over yet,” she said.

Savna said the GDP employs 2,975 prison officials across 24 prisons and four correctional centres. The prison system holds 38,000 inmates, 54 per cent of whom were incarcerated for drug-related crimes.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol