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Covid-19 Fifth Dose Vaccination Campaign Begins Rolling Out Today

PHNOM PENH: The Royal Government has begun the roll out of its fifth dose vaccination campaign for priority groups on Thursday, 9 June. Those priority groups include government officials, armed forces and police, the elderly, staff of embassies and international organizations, and more. A senior official from the Ministry of Health has also confirmed that the fifth dose will not be the last.

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Health and Chairperson of the Commission for the Covid-19 Vaccine, Dr. Or Vandine, has confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine does not provide long-lasting immunity like other vaccines and will require regular booster vaccinations every three or four months, hence, she called on all frontline workers and other target groups to receive the fifth dose.

"I would like to inform you that there is no shortage of vaccines. We currently have 9 million doses in stock, and this number is enough to give to the people, including both the third and fourth doses, as well as the current fifth dose," said Dr. Or Vandine. "So do not worry, because the vaccine will continue to be available in the future. [...] The fifth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will not be the last dose, we will have more in the future. Why? The reason is that this vaccine does not provide immunity as long as other vaccines."

The Ministry of Health will provide the fifth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to the leaders of the Royal Government, Senate and National Assembly, frontline doctors (both public and private), government officials, members of the army, national police, and other local authorities, elderly citizens over the age of 60, staff of Embassies, national and international organizations, journalists, members of the Cambodian Artistic Association, people with weakened immune systems, and people over the age of 12 who have already received the fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with consideration of the required three-month gap between doses starting from Thursday, 9 June onwards.

Documents required when going to get vaccinated include a Covid-19 vaccination card, civil servant ID or contracted official ID card, Cambodian ID card, or other documents used to register for the first dose of the vaccine.

Early in the morning of the first day of the fifth dose campaign, government officials came out to receive their Covid-19 vaccines at the designated locations.

Meng Kimhor, the Deputy Director General at the National Institute of Statistics of the Ministry of Planning, came to receive the vaccine at Ang Duong Hospital. He said he was happy that the government had given him a fifth dose to protect himself, even despite being vaccinated four times prior, as he has many work assignments both inside and outside the country.

He said, "I think that Covid-19 may still be an issue or may continue to occur. Even though I’ve been vaccinated four times, the prevention of Covid-19 by the Royal Government through the provision of the fifth dose for Government officials and front-line officials [is great]. I often have missions in provinces, and both inside and outside the country, so I have to come and get the fifth dose to prevent getting Covid-19."

Ly Touch, a retired Ministry of Education official who received the fifth dose, expressed her happiness and gratitude to the government for providing the fifth dose.

"To get vaccinated is to take care of our own health, and the Prime Minister has said to go and get vaccinated, so we should get vaccinated for our own health and safety," said Ly Touch. "Thank you to the Royal Government, especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, for extending kindness to the people, regardless of color, status, or party affiliation. What’s important is to stop the spread of Covid-19. [I am] very happy to see on TV that Cambodia is the second-highest ranked country in defending against [Covid-19]."

Prime Minister Hun Sen frequently urges members of the public to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a special audio message released on 1 June, the Prime Minister once again urged people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from Covid-19, even though Cambodia has not detected any cases for many days. He told his compatriots that from 2024 to 2026, Cambodia will use locally packaged Covid-19 vaccines, as the Royal Government will be supplied with nearly 35 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per year. He said in the three years from 2024 to 2026, more than 104 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be packaged in Cambodia.

The Prime Minister added that from 2022 until 2023, Cambodia will use the vaccines that have either been donated from other countries or purchased. He emphasized that even when providing the 10th dose of the vaccine, the Royal Government will not charge people money.

As of Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 94.06% of the 16 million population in Cambodia has been vaccinated, of which 103.22% are 18 years old and 12 years old, 100.64% are 17 years old, 109.19% are between the ages of 6-11 and 133.36% are 5 years old. These percentages include both locals and foreigners.

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