A Cambodian woman receives her first dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on April 1, 2021. Cambodia on Thursday started to inoculate its citizens with the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech. (Photo by Sovannara/Xinhua)
Cambodia on Thursday started to inoculate its citizens with the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.
Health Ministry secretary of state Or Vandine, chairwoman of the Ad-hoc Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination, said the vaccine, along with other health measures, is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people's lives.
"We aim to inoculate around 745,000 people with the Sinovac jabs during this vaccination drive," she told reporters while visiting an inoculation site.
Vandine said the priority groups for the jabs include frontline doctors and health workers, government, senate and parliament members and officials, local authorities, civil servants, teachers, armed forces, journalists, garbage collectors and garment factory workers, among others.
The Ad-hoc Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination said in a statement that the Sinovac vaccine is safe and effective.
Speaking to Xinhua after getting her first dose of the Sinovac vaccine, Sok Davy, a 49-year-old teacher at the Tuol Tumpong High School, expressed her gratitude for the help provided by China and said she was totally confident in the safety and efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine.
Ouch Tharith, 52, also a high-school teacher, said the injection was "quick and painless," encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Sinovac vaccine is the third COVID-19 vaccine for use in Cambodia's inoculation drive after the Sinopharm vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm and the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
The Southeast Asian nation first launched a vaccination drive on Feb. 10. As of Wednesday, more than 407,000 people had been vaccinated against the virus, a government report showed.
The kingdom is targeting to inoculate at least 10 million out of its 16 million population.
Cambodia has officially registered a total of 2,477 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in January last year, with 16 deaths and 1,240 recoveries.