Cambodia to mix vaccines as booster shots in COVID-19 fight

August 2, 2021
Cambodia to mix vaccines as booster shots in COVID-19 fight

Cambodia will begin offering a third vaccination dose to nearly one million frontline workers in the country as a measure against COVID-19. Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia will be switching between the AstraZeneca (AZ) and Chinese COVID-19 vaccines – those initially vaccinated with Sinopharm/Sinovac will be given a third booster AZ dose, and vice-versa.

Hun Sen said the country will purchase more AZ vaccines through the Covax Facility for the booster shots. He added that the recent US-funded Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be used to vaccinate indigenous peoples in northeastern Cambodia.

Read also: The impact of media on public opinion and trust in vaccines

Cambodia managed to largely contain the virus for most of last year, but an outbreak first detected in February 2021 has driven up total cases to 78,474, with 1,442 deaths.

The Kingdom recently launched a lockdown in eight provinces bordering Thailand this week in a bid to prevent the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) said this week that the Delta variant has been detected amongst migrants returning from Thailand through land borders and is now in the local community.

“We are racing against new variants. We must act today, and we must act fast to have no regrets tomorrow,” said Li Ailan, WHO Representative to Cambodia, in a statement on Saturday.

Cambodia has also started a vaccination campaign for those aged 12-17 years old on Sunday. The campaign will cover the capital Phnom Penh and the three hardest-hit provinces of Kandal, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk, among others.

The Kingdom is mulling inoculating children aged ten and eleven as well – a key step to herd immunity in communities, said Hun Sen.

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