Feature: Chinese vaccines help protect Cambodian children against COVID-19-Xinhua

Feature: Chinese vaccines help protect Cambodian children against COVID-19

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-05-31 13:23:41

Children leave a school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 30, 2022. (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)

PHNOM PENH, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Life has returned to normalcy for children in Cambodia as most of them have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and the southeast Asian nation has reported no new cases for more than three weeks.

Cambodia has administered COVID-19 vaccines to over 15 million people, or 94 percent of its total population of 16 million, the Health Ministry said, adding that 4.72 million of them, or 29.5 percent, are children aged three to 18 years old.

China's Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines have been widely used in the country's immunization program, and Sinovac is the only vaccine used to inoculate children.

With high rates of vaccination, children are able to return to school and play outside again after they had been restricted at home for over two years.

Speaking to Xinhua while taking her 7-year-old son to play at a public playground in front of Wat Botum pagoda, Ouk Socheata, a market vendor in Phnom Penh, said it's the first time this year that children can go out to enjoy the Children's Day again after they had missed it for the last two years due to the pandemic.

"I'm very happy to see daily lives returning to normalcy and children have returned to school, and in free time, I can bring my son to play at public playgrounds or to go to malls again," she said.

The 29-year-old mother said, like other children, her son looks fresh after he can go back to school and play outside again.

"I can say that daily lives in Cambodia have almost returned to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic era thanks to the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines," she said.

Socheata said she and her son had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with China's Sinovac vaccine and that she trusted the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine in protecting them from COVID-19.

"So far, none of my family members has been infected with COVID-19," she said.

Ung Bunheng, a public servant in the southern Kandal province, said his four-year-old daughter has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Sinovac vaccine.

The 30-year-old father said he is very grateful to China for supplying vaccines to Cambodia timely and regularly and to the Cambodian government for providing the jabs to people free of charge.

"Chinese vaccines have not only saved our lives, but also helped revive our economy," he said.

Bunheng said the Cambodia-China joint COVID-19 fight should be a role model for international cooperation, and he believes that it will inject greater vitality into building a community of a shared future between Cambodia and China.

The Health Ministry's Director-General and spokesman Hok Kim Cheng said Chinese vaccines have helped Cambodia achieve strong herd immunity and revive its economy.

"Chinese vaccines are essential for Cambodia to save people's lives and stabilize our health system," he told Xinhua.

Cambodia has fully resumed its socio-economic activities and reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine since last November.

"The Cambodian government has made the correct decision to choose China as a strategic supplier of COVID-19 vaccines, so that's why Cambodia has enough vaccines for its people," Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Xinhua.

Children play at a public playground in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 29, 2022. (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)