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Vandine: Covid vaccines ‘harmless’, protect health

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Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine and WHO’s Li Ailan talk to people about vaccinations in Koh Kong on Tuesday. OR VANDINE VIA FB

Vandine: Covid vaccines ‘harmless’, protect health

A senior health ministry official reiterated that getting a combination of different Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use is harmless.

Or Vandine – ministry spokeswoman and head of the National Covid-19 vaccination committee, reaffirmed this while visiting vaccination sites at schools, markets and hospitals in Koh Kong province, along with WHO representative to Cambodia Li Ailan.

“These vaccinations are not harmful to your health but protect you against a serious invasion of the coronavirus. The vaccines we use are all safe and effective, and all of them are on the WHO emergency use list,” said Vandine.

Cambodia has been using a combination of different Covid-19 vaccines including Chinese-made Sinovac and Sinopharm; AstraZeneca; Johnson & Johnson; Pfizer; and Moderna.

“These vaccines are both effective and of the high quality required for use on the human body. Vaccinations have to be studied in great detail before they are approved, and so do the recommended durations between boosters. We are not just going our own way, or purporting to know more than the greatest minds of science,” she added.

The results of the successful vaccination campaign in the Kingdom were obvious. Had they not been rolled out so effectively, the Khmer New Year celebrations would not have been celebrated with so much freedom, she said.

“We do not want to live in a box, trapped by Covid-19. In order to continue to walk away from Covid-19 restrictions, as we have been doing, we must employ many strategies. The most important of these is vaccinations,” she added.

Lim Vehas, 25, a resident of Kandal province’s Takhmao town, told The Post that he had been vaccinated four times and his health had not been affected.

“To put it bluntly, I was worried at the beginning of the vaccination campaign. When it was launched in February 2021, I was afraid to get vaccinated because I thought it might hurt me, based on things I had heard second hand, or through social media,” he said.

“After seeing people who had been vaccinated multiple times displaying no ill effects, I went ahead and got my first shot. I am up to my fourth now, and I do not give the safety of the vaccines a second thought,” he added.

He believes that he has a strong antibody now as he has never been infected, adding this was probably due to the vaccines.

According to the health ministry, as of May 3 nationwide vaccination rates accounted for 93.46 per cent of the estimated population of 16 million people. More than 8.6 million people have so far received their third dose while more than 1.7 million have received their fourth.

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