Samdech, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Institutions as well as Provinces
In the past, there have been a series of requests for vaccinations in the provinces or ministries, which yesterday, in addition to the ministries, (I also) received requests for vaccinations in this province or that province, and for instance, (there was this request from) the tourism industry. Some companies have also asked for their private vaccination. I wanted to take this opportunity to inform His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, especially Lok Chumteav Or Vandine, Chairman of the Adhoc Commission for Vaccination, that we have set out a strategic plan for vaccination already, particularly the blossoming flower strategy, that we will vaccinate the people from the inside (prioritized areas) out. I wanted to reaffirm to His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, institutions, and the governors of the capital and the provinces that we cannot sporadically share the small amount of vaccine to places, (as the result of which we) otherwise will not benefit from this vaccination campaign.
For example, HE Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, raised the request to vaccinate workers in the service industry in the tourist areas, in a way that the inoculation will be for a few thousand in here and in there. Doing so is not enough because among the tens of thousands of citizens in those places and we only provide vaccination for only 4,000 to 5,000 people. It is useless. That was why we initiated the vaccination strategies to create herd immunity, which we plan to vaccinate wherever we prioritize. We had to immunize people (living) in Phnom Penh, where we have continued to offer the jab that so far we have reached more than 1 million people. The vaccination process in Phnom Penh is our highest priority. Next are the towns in Kandal province. Then, we will move to the main destinations in cities, provincial towns, cities and factory areas where workers are concentrated. We cannot inject 40,000 to 50,000 workers in the province, in which there are more than 1 million population. Therefore, when we move out to those places, we will thoroughly cover everyone, if not all over the countryside, we should be able to blanket cities, towns, and areas where workers live, generally speaking crowded places, with vaccines as priority.
In doing so, we will achieve herd immunity in community where a large number of people are vaccinated. In estimation, the number of people at the age of or over 18 (needed to receive vaccines) is a little over 10 million. By subtracting estimated number of people that doctors may forbid vaccination (for medical reasons), the number of people in the vaccinated herd would be about 10 million. So far, we have vaccinated 2.4 million or more. Including today’s vaccination, we expected the figure of vaccinated to go up to 2.5 million people. Thus, with the estimated figure of 10 million people to inoculate, our initial plan is to prioritize for the people of Phnom Penh, the cities and the provincial towns of Kandal and workers’ residential areas. In total, we can think of this number – between five to six million people in priority of the vaccine strategy phases, depending on the number of vaccines we have.
Therefore, from now on, Excellency, Lok Chumteav, ministers and leaders of institutions and the governors of the capital/provinces, may stop asking for prioritized vaccination in sporadic locations. The Royal Government has set out a strategy for vaccination, and I will point this out in my discussion with Lok Chumteav Or Vandin as to where do we go or prioritize our vaccination targets after we finished with Phnom Penh and Kandal. We must following the synchronic flow of our progress. We cannot send vaccine in small amount to this or that location that doing so we know that it ultimately cannot make our vaccine effective because the number of people vaccinated is less than those who have not gotten vaccinated. We can now assume a figure of about 50% to 60% or more people in Phnom Penh to have already vaccinated. Therefore, herd immunity in Phnom Penh will reduce the risk of infection and reduce the risk of death. We do this (because we are sure that it is) the only option when we do not have enough vaccines. If we try to divide vaccines, while we do not have enough, to too many targets, we will not achieve herd immunity in our community.
I may reiterate that it is not necessary for Excellency, Lok Chumteav, heads of the institutions and mayors/governors of the provinces, as well as the companies and factories, to request for on-site injections because wherever the vaccination teams move in their campaigns, workers can get vaccinated in his/her Sangkats or villages. Unless vaccination deemed to be very necessary by the Adhoc-Commission and Sub- commission on vaccination works, as well as the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. Therefore, there is no need to ask for on-site vaccination for workers/staff members of any given companies. We may advise workers to register for vaccinations at the nearest location. We will give everyone vaccine when it is time. We will leave no one un-vaccinated in the area the campaigns operate. (Every needed vaccination people vaccinated) is an essential part of the vaccination plan to make the vaccine effective. We must realize that the vaccine prevents the spread of death for the population.
For the effectiveness of prevention, we need to look at all angles, not just from one angle. We look at the general condition of the people. For instance if in a house you have five people and only two of them vaccinated, then the vaccine would be useless. That is why we need to vaccinate all five of them, unless the doctor finds that so and so cannot get vaccine (for any medical reason), then we may have a separate card issued for them.
We will have enough vaccines to inject (our people needed to have ones). Our plan is that another 4.5 million doses (of vaccines) will come in June and more after. We plan to inject at least five to six million people, out of 10 million people, before the end of this year, which is our goal. We will strive to achieve 10 million vaccinations this year, or in early next year at the latest. I would appeal to my compatriots to understand (how much effort we have put into this). There was a question from Sihanoukville province on Facebook Page “why, after registering for vaccination, s/he has not yet received information from the authorities.” I replied – “the vaccine will come to you. That you cannot get the vaccine at this time because we lack the vaccine.” Please understand and be patient, and at this time, you, and we all, must practice the three “don’ts” and the three protection measures. You must absolutely protect yourself before the vaccine arrives. Even if you have vaccinated, do not forget the three don’ts and the three protection measures. The vaccine cannot every prevent transmission. We must use both the vaccine and protection measures to protect ourselves from Covid-19. Thank you./.