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People's Daily Online

Cambodia begins COVID-19 vaccination drive for adolescents with China's Sinovac vaccine

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:46, August 02, 2021

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Sunday launched an anti-COVID-19 vaccination drive for adolescents aged from 12 to 17, with China's Sinovac vaccine.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and other senior leaders brought their grandchildren to get the jabs at an inoculation site in the Peace Palace in the capital Phnom Penh.

Speaking at a press conference at the launching event, Hun Sen said the Southeast Asian nation has about 2 million adolescents and called on all parents and legal guardians to take their children for the vaccination.

"The vaccination for children today is another important step to achieve herd immunity," he said. "The COVID-19 has seriously affected the development of human resources, and almost all of the countries have closed schools."

Hun Sen said the vaccination for the adolescents will pave the way for the kingdom to reopen schools at least from the secondary schools upwards after being shut down since late February.

The prime minister said the right to life is the first priority and all tough measures taken by the government are to protect lives.

The country first launched an inoculation campaign for adults on Feb. 10, with China being the key vaccine supplier.

As of July 31, some 7.3 million adults, or 73 percent of the 10 million targeted adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Hun Sen said.

He added that the kingdom is aiming to vaccinate 12 million people, including 10 million adults and 2 million adolescents, or 75 percent of its 16 million population by November.

Health ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine said the use of the Sinovac vaccine in the adolescent group from 12 to 17 years of age is the same as in people aged 18 and above.

Each adolescent has to be given two doses of the vaccine around 21 to 28 days apart, she said.

Cambodia confirmed 671 new COVID-19 infections including 265 imported cases on Sunday, pushing the national caseload to 77,914, the health ministry said, adding that 23 new fatalities were recorded, bringing the death toll to 1,420.

Another 758 patients recovered, taking the total number of recoveries to 70,754, it added.

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