Cambodia has one of highest percentages of Covid-19 vaccination in region: UN

A teenager receives a vaccine dose against Covid-19 at a health centre as Cambodia begins its vaccination campaign for ages 12 to 17, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Aug 1, 2021. - Reuters

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): Cambodia has one of the highest percentages of Covid-19 vaccination among its adult population in the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region, the United Nations in Cambodia said in a statement released late on Tuesday (Aug 3).

"Despite the constrained global supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the Royal Government has been able to secure, through bilateral procurement, Covax and donations, a pipeline of Covid-19 vaccines to meet its target," the statement said.

The South-East Asian nation launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive for adults on Feb 10 and for adolescents aged 12 to 17 on Aug 1, targeting to inoculate 12 million people, including 10 million adults and 2 million adolescents, or 75 per cent of its 16 million population by November.

As of Aug 3, about 7.48 million adults have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, among which 5 million were vaccinated with the second dose, the health ministry said, adding that some 124,157 adolescents, or 6.3 per cent of the targeted adolescent group, had also been inoculated.

To date, more than 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been received in Cambodia and more are expected in the near future, according to the health ministry.

Currently, Cambodia uses China's Sinovac and Sinopharm, and Britain's AstraZeneca vaccines, which have obtained WHO approvals, the statement said.

"Recommended doses of vaccine granted WHO Emergency Use Listing have been shown to provide excellent protection from severe disease and hospitalization against the Delta variant as well as against other variants of concern," it said.

Vaccination is one of the key response strategies in the fight against Covid-19. However, vaccination alone is not enough, WHO representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said, adding that people must continue to strictly follow other effective public health and social measures.

"Feeling a bit released that 93 per cent of health care workers had been fully vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine before the Delta variant circulated," she wrote on Twitter. "Very happy that vaccinations for the elderly continue to be prioritised & accelerated. Remarkable progress!"

Cambodia confirmed 583 new Covid-19 infections including 157 imported cases on Wednesday, pushing the national total caseload to 79,634, the health ministry said, adding that 17 more fatalities had been reported, bringing the death toll to 1,488.

The kingdom also saw another 658 patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 72,803, it added.

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