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Public urged not to vie for Covid jabs

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People queue to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Phnom Penh on April 10, 2021. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Public urged not to vie for Covid jabs

Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged citizens not to flock to get Covid-19 jabs as available vaccine stocks remain limited while the government strives to procure more to vaccinate the whole population in phases.

In a national address in the early hours of April 12, Hun Sen said it could affect the government's vaccination plan.

The appeal came after self-exiled former opposition leader Sam Rainsy backtracked on his sceptic remarks about Chinese vaccine, this time calling on Cambodian people to get Chinese-made jabs.

The prime minister said Rainsy's appeal was ill-intended and only aimed at inciting people to vie for the jabs amid depleting vaccine stocks.

«They [opposition] want people to flock to get vaccinated, knowing we don't have enough vaccines now.

"We plan to vaccinate at least 10 million people so we need at least 20 million doses. We can use only one million doses per month so it will take 20 months to innoculate 10 million people -- if we have one million doses readily available per month.

"They [opposition] just want people to vie for the jabs at the same time, an intention typical of a traitor," he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination obligatory among state institutions. But with depleting stocks as other countries around the world also vie for vaccines, he called for calm.

«I appeal to the people to remain calm as the government will expand the vaccination drive according to plan and priority. When more vaccines arrive, we will determine which priority group will get the jabs first. We also need to determine age groups that should get innoculated first.

From February 10 to April 11, the government had vaccinated more than one million people, with the first being Hun Sen's eldest son Hun Manet.

The one millionth has been identified as Pan Sovannarith, a Phnom Penh resident who is expected to receive five million riel ($1,250) from Hun Sen through Ministry of Health secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine on the morning of April 12.


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