Cambodia's Covid-19 vaccination campaign kicked off on February 10 with more than 400 people registering at the four hospital distribution sites in the capital and 300 actually receiving inoculations.
The Ministry of Health has urged medical workers to organise their work schedules so as to ensure that vaccinations proceed smoothly.
Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said 425 people had registered for vaccination and 339 had received it. The remaining 86 were not vaccinated due to pre-existing health conditions that might have caused health complications or otherwise posed risks for them.
The ministry also reiterated its encouragement for everyone in the priority groups to register for the voluntary campaign from February 11 onwards.
Vandine said dignitaries and all those in the priority groups who were not vaccinated on February 10 could go to the hospitals designated by the ministry to receive their vaccination.
“Medical professionals at Calmette Hospital, Preah Ang Duong Hospital, the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and the National Paediatric Hospital must also vaccinate all of their staff,” she said.
Medical staff from Preah Kossamak Hospital, the National Maternal and Child Health Centre and the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control must schedule times to receive vaccinations at the National Paediatric Hospital in order to avoid overcrowding.
The ministry has assigned Calmette Hospital to provide vaccination for all officials from the Senate, National Assembly and Council of Ministers.
Officials of the National Police and the Phnom Penh municipal police department may be vaccinated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.
Vandine said: “Covid-19 vaccinations will continue every working day from 8am to 5pm except for a lunch break from noon to 2pm.”
Those who have already received their first vaccine dose should get the second one at the same place as the first between March 14 and 28.
“The ministry will continue to alert eligible members of the public who are in the 18-59 age group about receiving vaccinations on a voluntary basis,” Vandine said.
Minister of National Defence Tea Banh held a press conference on February 10 marking the start of the vaccination campaign at Preah Ket Mealea Hospital.
While public vaccinations are just beginning, Banh admitted that he and close family members, along with his staff, had already taken the Sinopharm vaccine weeks ago.
“To tell you the truth, I was already vaccinated. In ten days, it will be one month since I received vaccination.Some of my family members were also vaccinated.
“My son actually took the vaccine before me. At the time, we had only a small quantity of the vaccine in the country. After my son was vaccinated, nothing bad happened to him so he encouraged me to take it as well,” he said.
Banh testified that no one who had received the vaccine had experienced negative side-effects. Due to this, he had contacted China’s Ministry of Defence to discuss whether Cambodia could get the vaccines donated from China.
“This vaccine is high quality and effective. No problems at all,” he declared.
The government of China announced last month that it would donate one million doses of the vaccine to Cambodia, and a shipment containing the first 600,000 doses arrived in the Kingdom on February 7.
Half of the doses from the first shipment have been allocated to the health ministry for inoculations of priority groups among the public and government, while the other 300,000 doses are earmarked for the defence ministry to vaccinate the nation’s military forces.
As of February 11, Cambodia had recorded a total 478 Covid-19 cases with 19 patients still receiving ongoing treatment at. Remarkably, the Kingdom has not suffered any fatalities from the virus.