- October 16, 2019 8:01 AM
- January 25, 2020 3:36 AM
- January 14, 2020 7:55 AM
Hopes to inoculate 10m by November
PHNOM PENH--Prime Minister Hun Sen says the country is exploring ways to vaccinate people under 18 and is expected to complete inoculation of 10 million people by November a key milestone towards herd immunity.
In a special address to the nation on the Covid-19 situation, Hun Sen said the vaccination drive remains one of the key strategies in the battle against the virus. He said the country is trying to bring its number of vaccine doses to around 20 million.
“The most important strategy is vaccination. We need to secure enough vaccines for 10 million people and continue to purchase additional vaccines for people under 18.”
He said the country will have received 20 million doses in total by August with one million doses of Sinopharm vaccine to arrive on July 6, four million of Sinovac to arrive on July 10 and an additional four million to arrive in August.
The Health Ministry could then speed up the vaccination drive to ensure that 10 million people will be inoculated by November. In June, Hun Sen said herd immunity could be achieved after 10 million people receive the shots.
So far, up to 42 percent or around 4,200,000 people of its 10 million target have been vaccinated. Meanwhile, the country has received about 11 million doses, of which 324,000 are Indian-developed Covishield vaccines it received through the COVAX mechanism.
Other countries’ empty promises
During the same address, the Prime Minister said he made the right decision to choose China as the main vaccine source.
“Other people can say whatever they want regarding this decision,” Hun Sen said, pointing out that vaccine supplies through COVAX and from Australia can be considered as supplementary sources of the current vaccination campaign.
“If I didn’t take this strategy and continued to wait or turned left or turn right to seek help, it would not have been possible even to vaccinate 20,000 people.”
Hun Sen said some unnamed countries loudly pledged to provide between one billion and two billion doses to other countries but there were no vaccines available.
“That’s why I need to choose China as the strategic vaccine supply. If you don’t provide vaccines to us, who should I turn to? I need to protect the lives of my people, too.”