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Jab tally 40M as 300K doses arrive

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The 300,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from the Covax Facility arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday. AKP

Jab tally 40M as 300K doses arrive

The Kingdom received another 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines through the Covax Facility on December 13, with an additional 300,000 scheduled to arrive next week, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

As of December 3, Cambodia had received more than three million doses of several different makes of vaccines through Covax, which is around half of the total six million doses the country will receive through the global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organisation (WHO), along with key delivery partner UNICEF.

“The Covax Facility has set a target of delivering about 6.6 million doses of Covid-19 jabs to Cambodia in the first phase. So far, more than three million doses of different makes have been delivered,” Hun Sen said.

The different makes of vaccines are Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

As of December 12, the country has vaccinated more than 13 million people aged five and older, or 88.76 per cent of the total population of around 16 million.

Hun Sen said this achievement was much faster than what had been planned and that it had earned praise from the WHO, development partners and officials and organisations from countries around the world.

It is the high rate of vaccinations that makes Cambodia safe enough from the dangers of Covid-19 to reopen the country across all sectors, he added.

“Thanks to the clarity that comes about through detailed planning that relied on both the purchase of vaccines and on aid from donor countries, as well as the COVAX Facility, Cambodia has so far received more than 40 million doses,” he said.

WHO Representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said the Kingdom is “fortunate” to have secured such a bountiful supply of vaccines, though she cautioned that the pandemic is not over yet.

She urged collective action to take precautions because as long as there is a risk of the disease in other countries, Cambodia will continue to be at risk.

“Collective safety is based on individual actions. Be vigilant and continue to act responsibly & happily, so that there are no regrets. We all wish for a safe, sustainable and successful reopening of Cambodia despite new variants including Omicron,” she tweeted on December 12.

Ministry of Health secretary of state York Sambath said last weekend that between now and December 31, Cambodia will have received around three more million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including a donation of 2.3 million doses from Australia and additional shipments via the COVAX Facility.

Separately, Australia on December 11 provided medical equipment to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to assist them with Covid-19 prevention and mitigation.

According to the Australian embassy’s press statement, ambassador Pablo Kang handed over 1,500kg of Covid-19-related medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Ministry of National Defence secretary of state Moeung Samphan. They included over 20,000 gloves, 50,000 masks, 3,800 rolls of bandages and 10,000 Covid-19 test kits.

Previously, Australia delivered Covid-19-related assistance to Military Region 4 in Siem Reap province and Military Region 5 in Battambang province as well as to the Ream Naval Base. The assistance included PPE, Covid-19 test kits, patient vital signs monitors, an oxygen concentrator and ventilators.

“Today’s medical equipment donation reinforces Australia’s commitment to supporting Cambodia’s future development, including its health and economic recovery from Covid-19.

“It also underlines our aspirations for long-term defence cooperation that allows for diversity in Cambodia’s strategic relationships while safeguarding Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty,” Kang was quoted as saying in the press statement.

The ambassador also congratulated Cambodia on its success with rapidly rolling out vaccines to the population and praised the RCAF’s leading role in vaccination efforts.

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