PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia on Friday began a fourth round of vaccinations against the coronavirus in response to the omicron variant, with high-risk groups being among the first to receive the additional boosters.
Frontline medical staff and members of the armed forces were among those lining up at hospitals and clinics. Government ministers, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, also received booster doses on Friday.
Hun Sen has appealed to all Cambodian people to get fully vaccinated, including a booster, saying on his Facebook page that it is the only way to make sure to keep their families and communities safe from COVID-19. A campaign to have people get their third jabs is still ongoing.
The country’s first case of the highly transmissible omicron variant was confirmed in mid-December in a 23-year-old woman who returned from Ghana.
Cambodia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers on November 15, two weeks earlier than originally planned, in a move aimed at revitalizing the country’s economic and social activity.
Cambodia’s vaccination drive started slowly but ramped up quickly. Children aged 5 and older have been included in the program since the beginning of November.
Restrictions on domestic tourism, schools and other sectors were also lifted at the start of the month.
The Health Ministry on Friday reported 10 new COVID-19 cases, all the omicron variant, with four imported and six local transmissions. Cambodia has tallied 120,728 cases, with 3,015 deaths, since the pandemic began.
The Associated Press