Cambodia expects to receive approximately two million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines on the morning of May 3. The doses are donated by the US via COVAX – a global mechanism aimed at ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

In a May 2 press release, the US embassy in Phnom Penh said this donation was part of the US’ ongoing support for the Cambodian people and demonstrates the US leadership in public health diplomacy.

“The vaccines are due to arrive on Tuesday, May 3, at 6:45am at Phnom Penh International Airport’s VIP pavilion. Ambassador W Patrick Murphy, Minister of Health Mam Bunheng, and representatives from UNICEF and the WHO will attend the event,” the press release said.

This is the second time that the US has donated vaccines to Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterated his appeal for the public to make sure their vaccine schedules were up to date to increase community immunity.

“I renew my calls for all people who have yet to get booster doses to go and get them to strengthen the Kingdom’s herd immunity,” he said at the ceremonial handover of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Italian government on April 25.

The premier said recently that achieving victory in the battle against Covid19 was not an easy task, and needed the participation of all sectors of Cambodia society along with the government’s efforts.

“One year of fighting against Covid-19 was not simple, it was very hard. But our people, along with the government, are encouraging my belief that we will win. What is truly admirable is how united we are – regardless of which political party we might support. This unity has increased our success in the fight,” he said.

He recommended that the health ministry make plans to delay the arrival of 15 million vaccine doses scheduled for September, as there are more than 10 million doses currently in stock.

According to the ministry, as of May 1 nationwide vaccination rates accounted for 93.38 per cent of the Kingdom’s estimated population of 16 million. More than 8.5 million people have so far received booster shots while nearly two million have received their fourth.

Hun Sen expanded booster vaccination operations into factories, markets and schools and announced that it is now obligatory for everyone to get booster shots to protect them against Covid-19 infections.