CAMBODIA said it was not shunning Chinese vaccines or any other Covid-19 vaccines.

Its Health Ministry Secretary of State Or Vandine clarified this following a report to the contrary.

"All Prime Minister Hun Sen said is that Cambodia will procure vaccines which have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has not rejected any vaccines.

"If you recall, Cambodia has requested for vaccine assistance from Russia and China in the past," she said, according to Khmer Times.

She said the Cambodian Ministry of Health rejected media reports that Hun Sen has publicly shunned the use of Chinese Covid-19 vaccines.

The Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia also posted on his Facebook two weeks ago that China was ready to assist Cambodia with vaccines.

Vandine said Hun Sen had announced that the country would take part in the WHO-led Covax facility vaccine scheme which grants lower income countries enough vaccines to inoculate 20 per cent of their population.

Hun Sen had also repeated that Cambodia would buy one million doses of vaccines from the Covax scheme to inoculate 500,000 people in the vulnerable category, including security personnel and front liners.

She stressed that Hun Sen's statement was clear, as Cambodia would only buy vaccines approved by the WHO since any vaccine procured under the Covax scheme would still require WHO approval.

She added that the permanent secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Vongsey Visoth had already announced that the government will buy a vaccine that was recognised by the WHO, irrespective of whether it was through the Covax initiative or via direct purchase from pharmaceutical companies and or through bilateral diplomatic channels.

"Thus, there should be no speculations, distortion nor nuances on this," she said.

Currently several vaccines have already been approved for emergency use, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac and Sputnik V. Several more are on the verge of approvals by respective regulatory bodies.

None has been approved by the WHO to date.

Source: Cambodia Daily

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