Cambodia to give third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to frontline officials


A teenager receives a vaccine dose against the Covid-19 from a medical officer at a health centre as Cambodia begins its vaccination campaign for ages 12 to 17, in Phnom Penh. - Reuters

PHNOM PENH, Aug 7 (Xinhua): Cambodia will begin offering a third dose or booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine to frontline health workers, civil servants and armed forces in seven provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border on Sunday, a health ministry's spokesperson said on Saturday.

Those provinces include Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Koh Kong, Oddar Meanchey, Pursat and Preah Vihear, health ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine said in a statement.

"The move is to fight against Covid-19, particularly the Delta variant, which may spread into our community on a large scale if we all have not taken timely measures to prevent it," she said.

Vandine said Britain's AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the booster shots for those who had already been vaccinated with China's Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines in their first two doses.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said last Sunday that the country decided to mix Sinovac or Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccine shots as boosters, meaning that those who had been vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine would be given AstraZeneca jab as the third dose, and vice versa.

Cambodia 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-10 million adults and 2 million adolescents-or 75 percent of its 16 million population by November.

As of Aug. 6, the South-East Asian nation had vaccinated 7.92 million people, including 7.7 million adults and 227,608 adolescents, accounting for 49.55 percent of the total population, the health ministry said.

Cambodia on Saturday reported a daily record of 522 Covid-19 cases including 135 imported cases, pushing the national caseload to 81,335, the ministry said, adding that 11 more fatalities were recorded, bringing the death toll to 1,537.

Another 700 patients recovered, taking the total number of recoveries to 74,745, the ministry added. - Xinhua

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