76 pct of Cambodian Children under 1 Receive Vaccines during COVID-19 Pandemic: UNICEF

A boy is registered as other chidren wait to receive a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a health centre in Phnom Penh on February 23, 2022, as Cambodia lowered the age for children able to receive vaccinations to three years old and above. Photo by TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP

PHNOM PENH -- The United Nations children's fund UNICEF said on Friday that 76 percent of children under one in Cambodia had received childhood vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency said in a statement that Cambodia is among countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates in the world, with over 99 percent of adults protected, and where vaccine confidence is still strong.

"As for routine immunization, 76 percent of children under the age of one are considered fully immunized," the statement said. "However, 8 percent of children are considered zero-dose children meaning they have not received their first essential vaccine, with many of these children coming from remote areas, ethnic minorities, urban poor and migrant communities."

It added that inequities for essential lifesaving vaccines is still high in some areas, such as Mondulkiri province, in the northeast part of the country, where more than a third of children under one do not receive all essential vaccines.

"We welcome the efforts and progress made by the country, along with partners, in preventing children from deadly diseases and in expanding the national immunization coverage, including for COVID-19," the UNICEF's acting representative in Cambodia Anirban Chatterjee said.

In Cambodia, children under one year old receive 11 kinds of vaccines for free of charge to prevent the diseases of tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis B, meningitis, pneumonia, rubella, and cervical cancer. 

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