Cambodia is one of the most fully COVID-19 vaccinated countries in the world. Besides help from China, the success is also due to systems already in place to combat malaria and other illnesses.
NOEL KING, HOST:
Fewer than 3% of people in low-income countries have gotten even a single shot of the COVID vaccine. Cambodia, though, is an exception. It’s one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, ahead of richer countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Michael Sullivan brought us the story of how.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN, BYLINE: Sometimes, especially if you’re poor, it pays to have the right friends. In Cambodia’s case – China, the two countries growing much closer in the past decade.
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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).
SULLIVAN: And friends show up for friends. Back in February 2020, when the pandemic was taking off, with nations worldwide banning flights from China, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen saw an opportunity. He made a high-profile state visit to Beijing to show his solidarity with China during a time of uncertainty. And China’s leader, Xi Jinping, was grateful.