Over 160,000 get 4th Covid dose

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fourth dose booster shots of the Pfizer vaccines being administered at OCIC market in Chroy Changvar district on January 16. Hong Menea

In just the first week of availability, more than 160,000 people have received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine since the booster campaign began on January 14 for people from all over the country.

According to the Ministry of Heath, nearly five million people have already been vaccinated with booster shots across the country, with 166,210 people having received their fourth dose as of January 19.

The ministry also noted that no one in Cambodia had died of Covid-19 in the past two weeks, though imported and community cases of the Omicron variant are still being detected every day.

Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said on January 20 that the booster campaign has gone well and is still gaining momentum day to day.

“Covid-19 vaccinations for the fourth dose are only available in Phnom Penh as we are using the Pfizer vaccines that need to be stored in the freezer at minus 80 degrees Celsius,” she said.

Ith Sarath, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and head of the military’s vaccination efforts, said that on January 20 a team of medical workers from the Ministry of National Defence would carry out the task of giving the fourth dose to the military and some portion of the civilian population.

“Cambodia used to be applauded for giving the standard two-dose regimen of Covid-19 vaccines to our people and now we’ve taken another step forward with third and fourth doses,” he said.

He continued that in mid-January 2022, priority groups including civil servants, members of the armed forces, medical personnel and journalists will receive fourth doses in order to continue the fight against Covid-19 and especially the Omicron variant.

“Our medics are knowledgeable. They have a lot of experience with vaccinations. Speaking overall, we administered the first dose, the second dose, the booster shot and now the fourth dose. We have never had any problems. It’s all going very well. Everything went smoothly, including the storage of the vaccines,” he said.

According to the health ministry, for the past 16 consecutive days there have been no deaths from Covid-19 in Cambodia. The last recorded death was that of one unvaccinated person back on January 3, which was Cambodia’s 3,015th fatality from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.