One million doses of Sinovac vaccine set to arrive this month

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Staff at Phnom Penh International Airport transport a shipment from China of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines on March 26, 2021. Heng Chivoan

Another 500,000 doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines are set to arrive on May 11, with an additional 500,000 doses expected to touch down on May 15, according to a senior Ministry of Health official.

This comes as the novel coronavirus is now present throughout the country, with Ratanakkiri province recording its first cases on May 9.

The Kingdom has thus far vaccinated more than 1.7 million people.

Health ministry secretary of state York Sambath – who is also the head of technical operations and supplies for the inter-ministerial working group to combat Covid-19 – said the total one million doses of Sinovac vaccines were purchased by the Cambodian government.

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced last week that all people who live in the red zones would be vaccinated and that shortages would not present an issue to completing that goal.

“I would like to make it clear that in the red zone we can’t just walk away before everyone there is vaccinated. I want to emphasise that the vaccines we have will be enough to inoculate 520,000 people in the red zones because one million doses of vaccines are scheduled to arrive between shipments on May 11 and May 15,” he said.

He said that after all red zones residents are vaccinated, the rest of the people in Phnom Penh and Kandal province will be immunised too.

On May 10, the sub-commission on Covid-19 vaccinations of the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration set up 40 sites to vaccinate Phnom Penh residents with Sinovac in Tuol Kork, Boeung Keng Kang, Russey Keo and Sen Sok districts.

The municipality said the first doses were scheduled to be administered to people from May 13-30 and the second shots from June 3-20.

Additionally, the vaccination working groups at the Ministry of National Defence have vaccinated 399,617 people nine days into the 30-day campaign in the red zones across six districts. Nationwide, 1,773,994 people had been vaccinated as of May 10.

The novel coronavirus has now spread throughout the Kingdom with Ratanakkiri province finally recording its first cases on May 9.

According to an announcement by the provincial administration, the first two cases were detected through the Rapid Antigen Test kit for Covid-19 at the border with Stung Treng province.

The Covid-19 positive persons were identified as a driver of a transportation company and a worker based in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district.

The two are being treated at a Covid-19 treatment centre in Trapaing Kraham high school in Kon Mom district’s Trapaing Kraham commune.

The provincial administration called on those who have had contact with the duo to have their specimens taken for testing and to self-quarantine.

Ratanakkiri deputy provincial governor Nhem Samoeun told The Post on May 10 that it was too early for the authority to lock down any parts of the province, saying they are doing their best to search for those who had direct and indirect contacts with the patients.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said on May 10 that everyone may try to forget the virus, but the virus will not forget them. She said she did not want to imagine more Covid-19 tragedies in the future and that these tragedies can only be avoided through a concerted effort from everyone in correctly implementing the precautionary measures.

“What we should do is practice the three preventions and three don’ts measures,” she said.

As of May 10, Cambodia haf recorded nearly 20,000 Covid-19 cases including 126 fatalities.