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PM: Keep jabs up-to-date

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A woman receives a Covid-19 booster shot in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

PM: Keep jabs up-to-date

Prime Minister Hun Sen has renewed his calls for people to continue the fight against Covid-19 through preventive measures and by keeping their vaccinations up to date.

The call came as the Ministry of Health reminded the public that first, second, third and fourth doses were now widely available.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a new 134km stretch of National Road 3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot province, the premier said he suspected he may have been at risk of contracting the virus but fortunately it had not infected him.

“I had close contact with a coronavirus-infected person but did not contract it – I have to be thankful for the four doses of vaccine I have received. I call on all people to get vaccinated. More than 91 per cent of our people have had their first and second doses.

“Please keep your boosters up to date. According to the figures I have seen, more than seven million people have taken their third dose, and more than a million have had their fourth,” he noted.

Hun Sen also expressed his pride at the large number of children in the 3-4 age group who had been vaccinated, as he had thought it would be difficult for them.

“Previously, the Alpha and Delta coronavirus variants attacked only the elderly, but Omicron is less discriminate and attacks children and leaders alike. Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang developed Omicron and so did other provincial governors. Luckily, their symptoms were mild,” Hun Sen said.

Meanwhile, China has pledged to continue supplying Cambodia with Covid-19 vaccines, with more than seven million doses currently stored in warehouses. Hun Sen said he would continue to work to import more vaccines, noting that he intended to import another eight million doses in the first semester of this year.

“We have to ensure that our stocks remain high enough to provide them to everyone – from three years old and up. Vaccines are one of the most effective weapons in our arsenal as we continue the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

The health ministry on March 2 also reminded the public to keep their vaccinations up to date.

Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine, who is also head of the National Covid-19 vaccination committee, said: “Vaccination will boost a person’s immune system as well as build herd immunity. This is especially important as we watch the current spread of Omicron.”

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng also urged vaccination teams to increase the pace of vaccination for Phnom Penh residents.

“Local authorities must urge all residents and factory workers to receive their second, third or [fourth] doses – which are all free of charge,” he said.

According to the health ministry, as of March 1 Cambodia had vaccinated 91.39 per cent of its estimated 16 million population. This includes 28.5 per cent of the 3-4 age group of more than 600,000.

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