Cambodia begins Covid-19 jabs for those aged 12 to 17

PHNOM PENH Cambodia began a roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations for teenagers in its capital Phnom Penh and three provinces yesterday, with Premier Hun Sen's grandchildren among the first to get the jab.

The kingdom began vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17, starting the campaign in Phnom Penh, as well as in the three hardest-hit provinces of Kandal, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk.

They will be among the two million teenagers expected to be vaccinated, Mr Hun Sen said, adding that the country is mulling inoculating children aged 10 and 11.

Several countries in Europe - such as Denmark, France and Lithuania - have begun vaccinating children in a bid to faster reach herd immunity.

The country will begin offering a booster shot against Covid-19, switching between the AstraZeneca and Chinese vaccines in an effort to fight the spread.

Mr Hun Sen said yesterday that the third dose will be offered to between 500,000 and one million front-line workers as a priority.

"People who have already been vaccinated with Sinopharm and Sinovac should be given AstraZeneca as the third booster dose," Mr Hun Sen said in a speech broadcast on social media.

"For Cambodians who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Sinovac should be given as the third dose," he added.

Cambodia managed to largely contain the virus for most of last year, but an outbreak first detected in late February has driven up total cases to 77,919, with 1,420 deaths. - AFP, REUTERS