The Health Ministry is adopting a cautious approach to China’s offer of an eventual vaccine against COVID-19 (C-19).
Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said yesterday the ministry will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine before it makes any decision on adopting it in Cambodia.
Vandine said Cambodia is waiting for clear information on the proposed vaccine – such as technical confirmation from the World Health Organisation – as any vaccine adopted would need to be thoroughly checked and in accordance with WHO guidelines.
“Currently, we have not received specific information from WHO on whether there is a vaccine that can be used and given to the people,” she said.
“Cambodia is a member of the International Vaccine Alliance, so we are waiting for an official announcement on a vaccine which can be used via the alliance or WHO, before we proceed,” she said.
Speaking at the 3rd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting held by video conference on Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that China would give priority to Cambodia and other Mekong countries for COVID-19 vaccines once it completes research, production and licencing of the serum.
WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that 172 countries are now engaging with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which has the largest COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world. At present there are nine vaccines that are part of the portfolio.
Meanwhile, two countries have also claimed to have provided vaccines, namely CanSinoBio produced by China and Sputnik V, produced by Russia.
Cambodia has recorded no new infection cases for 11 consecutive days from August 15 to yesterday, while reporting 38 recoveries.
Vandine said the news of the considerable gap in no new cases is positive, but stressed that people should still take adequate preventive measures to safeguard themselves from contracting or getting infected from the virus.
Cambodia’s COVID-19 cases remain at 273, which includes 174 Cambodians, 40 French, 17 Chinese, 13 Malaysians, eight Indonesians, seven Americans, five Britons, three Vietnamese, three Canadians, one Belgian, one Indian, and one Kazakh.
Of them, 263 or 96.34 percent of the total cases have recovered, with 10 cases still active.