PHNOM PENH: Cambodia received the first batch of Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines donated by the government of Australia on Sunday evening. Prime Minister Hun Sen went to receive the vaccines at Phnom Penh International Airport.
Australia is donating a total of 2.35 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Cambodia. The second batch is expected to arrive on Tuesday.
According to a media release issued by the Australian Embassy, this vaccine donation to Cambodia is part of Australia's commitment to share up to 60 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the Indo-Pacific region by the end of 2022, with more than 10 million shared to date.
The Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian Embassy, Mr Andreas Zurbrugg, said "Australia is proud to support Cambodia by delivering 2.35 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. This vaccine donation is the first time Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be used at this scale in the Kingdom."
He added that "Australia understands a successful vaccination campaign requires planning, administration, equipment, distribution and training to ensure that everyone is protected including vulnerable and hard to reach populations. This is why we have provided, through grant funding, USD 28 million for a comprehensive package of support for Covid-19 vaccinations. In addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, Australia's support is also helping train healthcare workers and providing logistics support and equipment."
According to the media release, the Australian government is partnering with UNICEF and the World Health Organization to support the national roll-out in Cambodia.
Mr Zurbrugg added that "UNICEF's expertise in the procurement and delivery of vaccines particularly to hard-to-reach locations will increase the availability of vaccines to vulnerable Cambodians, including persons with disabilities and pregnant women."
Representative for UNICEF Cambodia, Foroogh Foyouzat, said, “This pandemic has proven once again that the only way we can tackle our biggest challenges is in partnership with each other, and the Australian Government is one of UNICEF's most important partners in the region.”
PHOTO: EAC NEWS