First of 1 million new doses of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in Japan arrive in Cambodia through COVAX
PHNOM PENH, 23 July 2021 – As part of the 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in Japan and donated by the Government of Japan through COVAX, 330,000 doses have arrived today in Cambodia. This generous donation will help Cambodia continue its remarkable achievement in becoming one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, where Cambodia is among the leading countries in South East Asia with the highest number of vaccinated adults by cooperating with key COVAX partners, UNICEF and WHO.
The doses arrived through the COVAX Facility, the unprecedented global mechanism that aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of safe COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access to them as rapidly as possible. UNICEF is leading the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility in what is the largest, most complex ground operation in the history of immunisation.
“The decision to provide these vaccines was made in light of the friendship between Japan and Cambodia,” said His Excellency, Mr. Mikami Masahiro, Ambassador of Japan. “These vaccines validated by WHO EUL, and manufactured in Japan arrived in Phnom Penh today thanks to our collaborative partnership with the COVAX Facility and its key in-country partners, UNICEF and WHO. I sincerely hope that the situation will improve as soon as possible and that normal exchanges between our two countries and across the world will resume. I pray for the health and safety of all Cambodian people”.
As many countries face vaccine supply challenges, the COVAX dose-sharing mechanism is a rapid way to close the immediate supply gap and ensure the most vulnerable, including healthcare workers, , the elderly, and those with specific vulnerabilities and living in hard-to-reach areas, are protected against COVID-19.
“This comes at a time of great need. COVID-19 continues to spread around Cambodia, its danger only matched by the seriousness with which the Royal Government of Cambodia takes it,” said Jalaa Abdelwahab, UNICEF’s Acting Representative in Cambodia. “The Cambodian Government has made great progress in vaccinating its population by working together with a number of partners. We greatly appreciate the leadership of the Government and generosity of the Government of Japan in funding these new doses, and will continue our support to the government’s efforts to reach and vaccinated more people in Cambodia in the critical weeks ahead.”
As well as supporting the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, UNICEF continues to support the immunisation programmes of the Cambodian Government through planning, cold chain and vaccine management, demand generation, technical know-how and training, and communications campaigns. With generous funding from the Government of Japan, UNICEF is also supporting strengthening of the Government’s cold chain to boost capacity to safely manage incoming COVID-19 vaccines, and to protect children affected by COVID-19 through child protection interventions. Building on over 70 years of experience in ensuring children are vaccinated against deadly childhood diseases, UNICEF is working with partners to build the capacity of local communities and ensure that they are engaged in the overall vaccination process.
COVAX is a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and UNICEF.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.