The Indian government announced it will donate 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Cambodia on an urgent basis.
The Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh made the announcement on Saturday afternoon in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request to Indian Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi for COVID-19 vaccine assistance.
“The supply has been assured through the Serum Institute of India despite innumerable competing requests from partner countries and our commitment to our domestic population,” the Indian Embassy said in a press release on Saturday.
“The decision is a testament to India’s appreciation for Cambodia as an important partner and its concern for the health and prosperity of the people of Cambodia,” it added.
Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Dr Devyani Uttam Khobragade said that the date of the vaccine arrival depends on when the contract, regulatory clearances and other formalities are completed.
“Given the large demand and commercial commitments of Serum Institute, the earliest delivery could be one month after formalities,” she said.
She added that the vaccine India will provide to Cambodia can be given to all ages above 18.
India is the second country to announce COVID-19 vaccine support for Cambodia after China, which has agreed to donate one million doses.
The Australian government has also committed a grant of some $28 million for the rollout of WHO-approved vaccines in Cambodia.
Mr Hun Sen personally requested the India-developed vaccine during his meeting with Dr Devyani on January 18, a few days after he announced the acceptance of one million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.
According to the Prime Minister, vaccines from China alone would not be enough.
Although it has been announced, there is no schedule yet as to when the vaccine to be supplied by Serum Institute of India will come to Cambodia.
Meanwhile, India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Saturday that the country has so far supplied COVID- 19 vaccines to 15 countries and another 25 nations are in the queue at different levels for the jabs.
“I think right now we have already supplied to about 15 countries (as per my recollection). I would say there would be another about 25 countries that are at different stages in the pipeline. But what it has done is today it has put India on the map of the world,” he said.
The minister said some poor countries are being supplied the vaccine on a grant basis while some nations wanted it on par with the price that the Indian government pays to the vaccine makers.