Prime Minister Hun Sen said Covid-19 vaccines cannot be distributed to provinces which are not the priority now. He made the remarks as another 4.5 million doses are due to arrive in June.
In an audio message on the morning of May 29, Hun Sen said there have been companies, factories, provinces and ministries trying to convince him to vaccinate people who they believe should be priority groups.
In response, Hun Sen stressed that the vaccines must be used in line with the government's "blossoming strategy", which begins in the capital and neighbouring Kandal province before expanding to other parts of the country in order of priority. Also vaccination must be administered in the most populated areas in the provinces first.
He said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, for one, had requested him to vaccinate people working in the sector first, a request he rejected.
“So from now, I suggest that all ministers, municipal and provincial governors stop requesting me to provide vaccines here or there first,” he said.
He said he will discuss with Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine, who is also head of the national commission for Covid-19 vaccination programme, as to which province will be the next priority.
In Phnom Penh, over one million people, or around 60 per cent of the population, have already been inoculated, he noted.
He said 4.5 million doses of vaccine will arrive in June.
“No one will be left behind without vaccine. Our vaccination team will be there for you,” he said.