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Covid-19 jab drive for five-year-olds begins as 3-4 age group considered

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A five-year-old boy is administered Sinovac vaccine in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on Monday. Heng Chivoan

Covid-19 jab drive for five-year-olds begins as 3-4 age group considered

The Kingdom officially launched the vaccination campaign for children aged 5 on November 1, with that age group of 300,000 to be administered the Sinovac jabs. In the meantime, vaccinations for children aged 3 and 4 are being studied.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said although vaccinations in Cambodia have been wrapped up for people aged 6 and over, there are still tens of thousands of people who need to get vaccinated.

Cambodia vaccinated the target adult population of 10 million by October 31. The 10 millionth vaccinee was identified as Sok Phat, 89, a resident of Siem Reap town in Siem Reap province.

Ministry of Health secretary of state Or Vandine, who also serves as head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, will present Phat with money and other gifts from the prime minister.

Cambodia has also vaccinated 97.89 per cent of the 12-17 age group of over 1.8 million and 101.22 per cent of the 6-11 age group of nearly 1.9 million.

Hun Sen also called on people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, both the first and second doses, to get the jab at designated sites.

The prime minister also instructed Vandine to disseminate and provide specific guidance to authorities at all levels regarding vaccinations.

During the launch of jab drive for five-year-olds, the prime minister also mentioned the possibility of fourth-dose vaccinations in collaboration with the private sector, saying the government may help reduce the cost of vaccines by assisting in the purchase.

“The government will make efforts to find Covid-19 vaccines for the fourth dose if needed. I think I will ask businesses to be responsible for vaccinating their employees. At least some companies may get vaccines and be responsible for their workers.

“But for the poor, we will provide vaccines free of charge,” he said.

He noted that Cambodia still has more than 9.3 million Covid-19 vaccines left in the Central Medical Store in Phnom Penh and the provinces. This month, an additional one million doses of the vaccine will also arrive.

“So we have 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines and we are ready to buy another three million doses,” he said.

Hun Sen said experts were studying the possibility of vaccinating children aged 3 and 4. He said some countries have already started vaccinating these age groups.

“The second possibility is that we vaccinate only children aged 4. If the five-year-olds can take the vaccine, why can’t the four-year-olds?” he said.

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