Cambodia vaccinating 6-to-11-year-olds before schools reopen

Cambodia is vaccinating 6-to-11-year-olds so students can safely return to schools that have been closed for months due to the coronavirus

Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated the campaign to vaccinate the children, speaking live on state television and his Facebook page as his grandchildren and young family members of other senior officials were shown being given their jabs.

Cambodia already has been vaccinating older children, and Hun Sen said he ordered health officials to study if children ages 3 to 5 can also be vaccinated. No date has been announced for schools to reopen.

Hun Sen, 69, who has been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot on Tuesday, said Cambodia’s priority in recovering from the pandemic is reopening the education sector, followed by allowing service industries, including domestic tourism, to resume activities.

He said Cambodia is considering reopening to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in the near future. The tourism sector is vitally important for the country’s economy, he said, and Chinese visitors are expected to be the biggest group of arrivals once Cambodia reopens.

Hun Sen said while Cambodia’s rate of coronavirus infections continues to be high, it appears to be slowing due to vaccination levels, which are higher than most other countries in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia’s Health Ministry on Friday reported 698 new cases and 11 deaths, adding to the nation's totals of 102,834 cases and 2,089 deaths from COVID-19.

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