Children aged 3 to under 5 will be offered Covid-19 vaccinations, Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced.
The premier formally opened up the vaccination drive to include children in this age group in a special audio address to the nation on February 17.
“The reason for this decision is that I have observed that, since the Omicron coronavirus variant started to spread in the community, 25 per cent of the number of children younger than 5 have contracted it,” he said.
In his announcement, Hun Sen also revealed that one of his grandchildren, who is under the age of 2, had caught the virus.
“We have to vaccinate children aged 3 to [under] 5 as we already vaccinated children aged 5 and over. It is necessary to protect our children from getting Omicron.
“We don’t have [any] other choice but to vaccinate them,” he said.
Hun Sen urged parents to bring their children to get vaccinated at any available vaccination site.
“I call on all parents and caretakers to take their children to go get vaccinated to avert a disaster,” he said, referring to the virus’s documented effects that could include long-term and debilitating symptoms. He added that vaccination is the best option to ensure that children have immunity against the disease.
The premier urged Ministry of Health employees to carry out this task with caution due to the possibility of virus transmission at the vaccination sites.
There is an estimated 700,000 children aged 3 to under 5 in Cambodia, he said.