Ministry plans mobile jabs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine at the closing of the vaccination campaign in Koh Kong province. KOH KONG ADMINISTRATION

Senior Ministry of Health officials have urged provincial administrations to dispatch mobile vaccination teams to remote households and the homes of those with difficulties travelling in order to administer Covid-19 jabs to them.

Or Vandine, health ministry spokeswoman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said provincial administrations have to be flexible in their planning and send medical teams out to administer jabs at people’s homes if necessary.

“We have to examine each situation and if there is a family that is living far away and cannot travel to get vaccinated, then we should send a medical team to give them their jabs at home,” she said at the closing of the jab campaign for Koh Kong province on September 15.

Vandine said as the initial vaccination roll-out approaches its goal of 10 million adults, it is important that the sub-national administrations compile clear statistics that define exactly who have not received vaccinations so that a plan can be formulated to reach them.

Though the Covid-19 vaccination campaigns for the capital and an increasing number of provinces have officially closed and the health ministry has nearly reached its goals, vaccinations will continue to be administered in some locations to those who missed out on the first round.

Phnom Penh has designated eight referral hospitals as vaccination sites going forward until further notice.

Vandine said Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to make booster doses available to everyone aged 18 and older and the only question remaining before implementing the policy is the exact timing for the third doses following the second shots.

“The committee will arrange the introduction of the booster doses for the general public starting in October, and we will follow the same blossom strategy starting in Phnom Penh and Kandal and then on to the other provinces in order of priority,” she said.

As of September 15, the capital and eight provinces have announced the closure of their Covid-19 vaccination campaigns. Seven more provinces – Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Kampong Cham, Takeo, Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey – have announced they will be closing their opening campaigns soon.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang said on September 14 that the provincial hall had facilitated the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines closer to people’s homes due to the difficulties with travel faced by some elderly people who wish to receive jabs.

“[Prime Minister Hun Sen] has been urging provincial authorities to move public services closer to home for people living in remote villages far from the city,” he said.