Cambodia begins its booster shot campaign in Phnom Penh; 84% of country's population vaccinated

Children get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Rong Roeung market in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district on Sunday (Oct 10, 2021). - Phnom Penh Post/ANN

PHNOM PENH, Oct 16 (Phnom Penh Post/ANN): Cambodia has so far vaccinated over 84 per cent of the total population of 16 million, with more than 11 million people having received their second dose, according to the national Covid-19 vaccination committee.

A new campaign administering a third dose started on Monday (Oct 11). Thus far, nearly one million have received the booster shot.

As of Oct 9, the country had inoculated 99.18 per cent of the adult population of 10 million and 89.76 per cent of the 12-17 age group of nearly two million.

Vaccinations for children aged 6-11 have reached 72 per cent of that age group of more than 1.8 million.

Speaking at the Council of Ministers meeting on Oct 8, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was very proud of Cambodia’s vaccination rates and especially those of the 6-11 age group and the potential fear of needles among some children.

“Now we have vaccinated more than 13 million people out of a population of 16 million against Covid-19 across the country. Those who refuse to be vaccinated will be the loneliest people of all in the future,” he said.

The booster shot campaign will first launch in Phnom Penh before expanding to the other population centres in the Kingdom. Hun Sen noted that Cambodia has more than 11 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered as booster shots.

As part of the campaign, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has called on residents in the capital’s 14 districts who have received their second dose of Covid-19 vaccine to get their booster shot after a four-month interval.

In a notice dated October 8, it said the third-dose vaccination campaign for Phnom Penh residents will kick off on Monday in 11 districts and on Oct 30 in the three others, noting that Sinovac jabs will be used.

Six of the 11 districts that will launch the jab drive on October 11 are Tuol Kork, Russey Keo, Meanchey, Dangkor, Kamboul and Por Sen Chey.

This will be overseen by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces under the Ministry of National Defence. Only those who have received their first and second doses administered by the military medics should get the booster shot at the above-mentioned districts. Vaccinations will begin at 2pm for these locations.

The five other districts that will also kick off their campaigns on October 11 are Boeung Keng Kang, Chamkarmon, Chbar Ampov, Prampi Makara and Sen Sok. This will be administered by medical personnel from the municipal Department of Health and volunteer medical workers. Vaccinations will start at 8am.

The three remaining districts – Daun Penh, Chroy Changvar and Prek Phnov – will begin vaccinations on October 30 in campaigns to be overseen by medical personnel from the municipal health department and volunteer medical group.

Vaccinees have to bring along their vaccination and national identification cards or other documents they used when receiving their first dose. They are advised to contact their local authorities or refer to the municipality’s official announcement for further details.

Hun Sen also said he had ordered health officials to determine the cause of “vaccines hesitancy” among those who remain unvaccinated.

“We need to study because we want to know why they have refused to be vaccinated and we must educate them to get vaccinated against Covid-19,” he said.

Hun Sen said even though vaccination rates had reached more than 84 per cent of the total population, there was still work to do reaching those who remained unvaccinated and that he did not want anyone to die because of misplaced belief in political propaganda by the opposition group. - Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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