Ministry plans mobile teams for remote rural vaccinations

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Factory workers get their Covid shot in the capital’s Meanchey district. Hean Rangsey

The national Covid 19 vaccination committee is continuing to push for an increase in at-home vaccinations for those who live in remote areas and cannot access designated sites. The committee also reminded medical teams to ensure that vaccines were administered correctly, to avoid damaging or wasting the jabs.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman and head of the committee, said she had already instructed provincial administrations as well as health departments across the country to administer vaccines at the homes of those who lack access to designated sites.

“We have plans for rolling out vaccination sites, but we will prepare the plans in more detail once we know the actual situation. We have been encouraging health departments to bring vaccines to those who cannot visit the sites, and they have been doing so since last year,” she said during a visit to a vaccination site in Takeo province on January 18.

Vandine said the vaccination campaign could be fast, but depended on the mobilisation of people to get jabbed, and her team would be checking on each province’s progress.

“If it is difficult to mobilise people to get vaccinated, we will conduct a feasibility study into inoculating each village or commune. We need to know that people will be ready for the shot, because once it is opened, it must be used,” she said.

During her inspection of the facility, Vandine also urged the Takeo provincial administration to work with factories to arrange vaccinations for workers.

“I have asked the provincial health department to arrange for a medical team to jab directly at the factory, which is another step towards comprehensive coverage,” she said.

The administration of Takeo province’s Donkeo town has organised a team to vaccinate students directly at the school when students qualify reach for their first ‘booster’ dose.

At the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced his support for his Spanish counterpart, who called for the recognition of Covid 19 as a common cold.

“I support the evolution to living with Covid-19, but we must all be cautious and get vaccinated to prevent the disease, even if it is considered like the common cold,” he said.

Hun Sen said vaccination was an important part of the self-defence measures that everyone should be employing, along with masks and hand washing, as part of living in the “new normal” context

According to the health ministry, as of January 18 nearly four million people had received their third dose, while more than 120,000 people had received their fourth.