Is Cambodia Really Turning Its Back on Chinese Vaccines?

Phnom Penh is likely to accept reliable, proven vaccines from whoever is offering them, including Beijing.

In a marathon public address on December 15, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed public fears about a recent local outbreak of the coronavirus and outlined his government’s planned response.

Bracketed by three and a half hours of typical extempore remarks, the country’s perennial leader announced that his government would seek to acquire 1 million doses for its first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations. These it would order via the United Nations-backed COVAX facility, which subsidizes vaccines for 92 developing countries.

In his speech, which followed a spate of community transmissions in late November, Hun Sen also said that the government ultimately plans to purchase 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which will give to 80 percent of Cambodian population – some 13 million people – free of charge.

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