Country to mix vaccines as booster shots


THE nation will begin offering a booster shot against Covid-19, switching between the AstraZeneca and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in an effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the South-East Asian country.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, launching the vaccination campaign for those aged 12-17, said yesterday that the third dose would be offered to between 500,000 and one million front line workers as a priority.

“People who have already been vaccinated with Sinopharm and Sinovac should be given AstraZeneca as the third booster dose,” Hun Sen said in a speech broadcast on social media.

“For Cambodians who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Sinovac should be given as the third dose.”

Hun Sen also said the country would purchase more AstraZeneca vaccines through Covax for the booster shots and that the recent US-funded Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be used to vaccinate indigenous peoples in northeastern Cambodia.

Cambodia has launched a lockdown in eight provinces bordering Thailand this week in a bid to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said this week that the Delta variant had been detected amongst migrants returning from Thailand through land borders and was now spreading in the local community.

“We are racing against new variants.

“We must act today, and we must act fast to have no regrets tomorrow,” said Li Ailan, the WHO representative to Cambodia, in a statement on Saturday.

Cambodia managed to largely contain the virus for most of last year, but an outbreak first detected in late February this year has driven up total cases to 77,919, with 1,420 deaths. — Reuters

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