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WHO lauds Kingdom's Covid jab drive, urges vigilance

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Military personnel receive the third dose of AstraZeneca vaccines in Phnom Penh's Toul Kork district on August 12. Hong Menea

WHO lauds Kingdom's Covid jab drive, urges vigilance

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia applauded Cambodia for achieving a milestone of vaccinating over eight million people, though it cautioned that vaccination alone is not a "silver bullet".

"My sincere appreciation to the people of Cambodia, who have shown courage and stayed strong to continue fighting against Covid-19,” said WHO Representative Li Ailan.

In a press release on August 12, WHO noted that vaccine is just one of the critical tools in fighting Covid-19, preventing severe illness, and reducing hospitalisations and deaths.

It warned that ‘vaccine optimism’ can be dangerous if individuals put down their guard.

As of August 10, a total of 8,037,519 and 6,438,770 people aged 18 and over had received their first and second doses, respectively.

According to WHO, about 97 per cent of healthcare workers have already been vaccinated and many elderly people including those living in remote areas have been covered under the government's vaccination programme.

The government has also kicked off the vaccination drive for children aged 12-17 since August 1.

"The proactive efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia, including the Ministry of Health, have ensured consistently increasing vaccine availability, uptake and coverage in Cambodia, especially among vulnerable, high-risk groups and remote populations," WHO said.

It said it is pleased to have strategically and technically supported Cambodia’s vaccine rollout including situation analysis, policy advice on prioritisation, vaccination planning, implementation and monitoring including staff training and managing adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).

The UN body said it will continue to work with the government on the fight against the pandemic.

Li said: “With individual and collective actions, we will win this fight against Covid-19."

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