Cambodia inoculates 5-year-olds against COVID-19 with China’s Sinovac vaccine

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(Xinhua) — Cambodia on Monday began to vaccinate five-year-old children with China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccination for the population aged six years and older was completed, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.

Speaking at the campaign launching ceremony held at the Peace Palace in capital Phnom Penh, Hun Sen called on parents or children’s legal guardians to bring their kids for the jab in order to protect their lives from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Vaccinations are the key to fighting against COVID-19,” he said. “Vaccines reduce infections, hospitalizations and fatalities.”

Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Secretary of State Or Vandine said five-year-old children in the Southeast Asian country will receive two doses of the Sinovac vaccine and the gap between the first and second shot is 28 days.

When taking their kids for the jab, parents or legal guardians must bring along a copy of their birth certificates, family record books or passports, she said.

RELIEVED PARENTS

Sok Mary, a 28-year-old housewife, said she felt relieved after having her five-year-old daughter vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I feel happy that my little girl received her first dose of China’s Sinovac vaccine today because I had waited for this opportunity for months,” she told Xinhua at an inoculation site in the capital city.

“I totally trust the safety, quality and efficiency of Sinovac vaccine in protecting my life and family from this highly contagious disease. So far, all of my family members have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Sinovac vaccine,” she added.

Vong Vichhai, a 43-year-old car mechanic, said he has been worrying about his little daughter’s health safety amid COVID-19.

“But I have a sense of relief now after she received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine today,” he told Xinhua. “Thank China for supplying vaccines to Cambodia and we will never forget your kindness, and thank the Cambodian government for providing vaccines to the people free of charge.”

Chhay Kimlang, a nurse at a vaccination site in Phnom Penh, said if there were no China’s vaccine supplies, Cambodia would not have enough vaccines to inoculate its people.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” she added.

VACCINATION FOR PEOPLE AGED 6 AND OLDER COMPLETED

Hun Sen has announced Cambodia’s national COVID-19 vaccination campaign for its population aged six years and older was successfully completed more than eight months after it was launched, with China being the major vaccine supplier.

“As of Oct. 31, Cambodia had vaccinated 85.68 percent, or 13.7 million of its 16-million population,” he said. “We have achieved our target about eight months earlier than planned.”

The country had inoculated 100 percent of the adult population of 10 million, 97.89 percent of the 12-17 age group of nearly 1.83 million, he said.

“We are recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, and social and economic activities in all areas have been gradually reopened, with the adaptation to the new normal,” Hun Sen said. “Today, schools across the country are reopened.”

Cambodia recorded 91 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing total tally to 118,613, the Ministry of Health said, adding six new fatalities from the pandemic were registered, bringing the overall coronavirus death toll to 2,794.

“If compared to our population of 16 million, the infection rate is 0.74 percent and the mortality rate is 0.017 percent. The rates are relatively low,” the prime minister said.

“But if we compare the number of fatalities and infection cases, it’s high, up to 2.35 percent, so we need to strengthen our treatment capacity,” he said.

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