Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen: Reliance on China for vaccines the right decision

Hun Sen: Reliance on China for vaccines the right decision

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen while addressing the nation on Thursday. SPM

Hun Sen: Reliance on China for vaccines the right decision

Cambodia has relied on China to procure enough vaccines for the targeted 10 million people aged 18 and over and is now considering vaccinations for those under 18.

In a special address today, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia may vaccinate people under 18 when vaccinations for the targeted 10 million is completed.

He said Cambodia had also sought to procure vaccines from other sources but now opted to depend on jab supplies from China as they are readily available.

“As per plan, we will have a total of more than 29.7 million doses, including seven million expected from [World Health Organisation-led] Covax and three million from Australia.

“But for the 10 million shots expected from Covax and Australia, we have set them aside as backup in our strategic vaccination plan,” he said.

The prime minister said he had made the right decision and would welcome any criticism of the plan.

Hun Sen noted that Cambodia will receive a total of five million doses from two Chinese pharmaceutical companies this month – two million from Sinopharm and three million from Sinovac.

Hun Sen previously remarked that without the friendship of China, not even 200,000 people could have been vaccinated – never mind four million – because Cambodia has received only 324,000 doses of vaccines total under the Covax scheme.

“At the Future of Asia conference, I was asked why I had turned [diplomatically] towards China. I said – if I do not rely on China, whom do I rely on? Tell me. It’s just the truth. Many people promised me much – but in the end, promises are not vaccines – and it was only the Chinese vaccines that actually arrived,” he said.

He also said certain countries required him to deposit money in advance, but without stipulating when those vaccines would actually arrive and he refused to do it because it was millions of dollars.

Regarding unvaccinated people, Hun Sen said he did not force them or pressure people to get vaccinated because everyone had learned about vaccinations and it moved ahead faster than planned without having to arrest anyone like in some countries.

Hun Sen said one principle he would adhere to for unvaccinated people who have been the victims of incitements or propaganda that had tricked them was that they would need to do get vaccinated by 2023.

As of June 30, Cambodia had vaccinated more than 4.2 million people, or about 42 per cent of the targeted 10 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple