Russian ambassador to Cambodia Anatoly Borovik announced a partnership with Cambodia on Thursday to study the feasibility of providing Russia-made Covid-19 vaccine to the country.
Borovik led Russian diplomats on a visit to the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) headquarters, which was flooded recently, as Russia donated two tonnes of rice, 21 cases of drinking water and 75 cases of noodles. The donations are to be used to help flood victims.
“We are discussing cooperation in providing vaccines made in Russia because Cambodia has expressed interest in the new vaccine. We will arrange communication between our two scientific experts to discuss this issue in more detail,” he said.
Borovik also offered his condolences to Cambodians affected by floods and expressed hope that Cambodia will be able to repair infrastructure damaged by floods as soon as possible.
Men Neary Sopheak, the CRC first deputy secretary-general, thanked Russia for the donations and commitment to assist Cambodia in receiving Covid-19 vaccines.
She said that any agreement on the vaccine will be decided by the health ministry and not involve the CRC.
“The provision of the vaccine is related to the health [ministry] only. The ambassador also pointed this out.
“The two countries have joint achievements, such as the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. Treatment for Covid-19 is available at the hospital, so Russia is looking to give a helping hand,” she said.
Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on Thursday that the ministry had not yet received details on its cooperation with the Russian government concerning the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia.
“If any vaccine is officially recognised for its safety and efficiency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), then cooperation with countries that aim to help Cambodia receive vaccines is good,” she said.
Vandine said WHO experts predict that there may be eight to nine vaccines available by the middle of next year.
She said the WHO, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and the health ministry’s National Immunisation Programme have agreed to develop a plan to decide who receive the vaccines.
When the WHO officially recognises a vaccine, Cambodia may receive enough to vaccinate three per cent of its population, equal to more than three million people, she added.
On Wednesday, Cambodia did not report any positive cases for Covid-19. The total number of infections nationwide stands at 286, with six continuing to receive treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital, according to the health ministry.