The Ministry of Health will not administer Covid-19 vaccinations during the traditional Khmer New Year holiday in April as it has the past few years, its spokeswoman Or Vandine said while calling on people to get their booster dose when it is their turn.

Vandine, who is also head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, was visiting a vaccination site for students and the general public in Kampong Cham province on February 8.

“Our traditional Khmer New Year is coming soon, so we’ve started vaccinating now with the fourth, fifth and sixth booster doses.

“In the two months between now and the holiday, each vaccinated person will begin producing antibodies. Then our people will have adequate protection and the virus will not interrupt their enjoyment,” she said.

At the height of the pandemic, the ministry’s team set up vaccination sites during main public holidays including the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben Festival.

“We no longer need to give Covid-19 vaccinations during the holidays because we want to leave this time for our people to enjoy.

“We ask that they get vaccinated adequately now to protect themselves,” she said.

Vandine urged people not to believe the “unfortunate propaganda” of those who attempt to frighten people away from getting boosters.

In Kratie, the provincial health department announced on February 8 that the provision of Covid-19 vaccinations for initial and booster doses at health facilities remain available.

“Please hurry and get vaccinated and continue to adhere to preventive measures.

“The ministry hopes and believes that all people in Kratie will come for Covid-19 vaccinations to protect their health and prevent the spread of the virus into the community, especially its new variants,” it said.

According to the ministry, the Covid-19 vaccination rate had reached 95.41 per cent of the estimated population of 16 million for the first two doses as of February 8, but only 210,000 have received their sixth booster.