Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen Shared His Opinion on Anti-Covid-19 Vaccination [Unofficial Translation]

This Message is for the Anti-Covid-19 Commission,

Tomorrow, there will be a meeting chaired by (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance) HE Aun Porn Moniroth, via video conference because HE Aun Porn Moniroth is in quarantine, with the Ministry of Health on the purchase and search for vaccines for our people. At the initial stage, we decided to buy one million doses of vaccine. We are not sure from which country to buy it yet. We need to discuss (this issue) and (figure out how to) seek for more helps.

The estimated one million doses can only inject 500,000 people. Therefore, we must give priority to those (who have the need) to get the jabs first. I just suggest that in this one million doses of vaccine, the first persons to be vaccinated would be the doctors/physicians/nurses … because they are at risk at the forefront. Next, we needed to give the jabs to about 120,000 teachers, to the armed forces, including the army, the military police, the police, the prison officials, whose duties are at high risks. In need of intervention of any kind, we would call on this force. Should they be not vaccinated, these people are in danger. Therefore, the police force, the army, the military, the prison guards must be among the first to receive it. In addition, also necessary are justice officials, such as forestry, fisheries, and the environment, who also have to go out to perform their duties.

So (we) have to give people in those groups vaccines. Roughly, it would already take about nearly 400,000 doses. We woud have left about 100,000 doses. We will have to check on this and figure out what to do according to the reality. This however is just a suggestion (in principles as to who, because of the natures of their works/duties, may need to be in the prioritized group to receive the jabs) to the leadership of the Anti-Covid-19 Commission.

On that again, I reiterate that the doctors must be the first to get it, because otherwise, how to use the doctor without being protective. The teachers must teach the students, they must be protected. Then there are the armed forces, such as the police, who have to go on missions protecting the people, safegarding and controlling traffic and so on. The army and military police will also be necessary. The other forces, such as the judicial police, including those in forestry, fisheries, the environment, and the other divisions (are among the prioritized groups to get the jabs). Court officials, judges, prosecutors and lawyers should also get it because they have to go meet clients and carry out trial sessions. They can also be at risk.

These are my comments on some of the issues relating to the discussion on prioritizing the vaccination of the first 500,000 people. Roughly, based on this thought, we would already use about 400,000 doses. The remaining 100,000 doses will be in the Ministry’s decision as to whom they should be given.

In the next phase, we will go to the second stage concerning a request for assistance or additional purchases. We will continue to figure out which area will receive first and which area will be next. The next target may be students in both public and private universities, and those who study at vocational training schools or towards construction workers or other workers in general working in cities and towns.

We think (about these people) at a later stage as we target areas where there is risk and who is at risk. Those at risk are older patients. I do not know yet whether (it is possible) to inject children […] If we also inject children, we will have to cover the cost of vaccines for up to 16 million people. According to my estimates, (excluding children) about 10 million full-grown people should be vaccinated.

[…] We need to look carefully at the way forward. This vaccine case is something that we need to discuss and resolve. Lok Chumteav Youk Sambath (Secretary fo State for Health) reported to me about the construction of a warehouse for storage. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, HE Aun Porn Moniroth, already approved the storage warehouse, where we can keep it 80 degrees below zero. (We can store them) also at 40 degrees or 30 degrees or any degrees needed, but the maximum level could reach as low as 80 degrees below zero. Storage facility is not too difficult problem to solve.

Please accelerate construction because by the time that we determined from where/whom to order, the arrival of vaccines would be in time for the storage facility to accomodate it. At this point, please have a thorough discussion. For the moment, let’s decide the first prioritized 500,000 people, who should be receive the jabs. That is about all I have as my comment and you may have further discussion. Thank you./.