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Cambodia rolls out 6th COVID-19 vaccination

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia began to provide a sixth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people across the country free-of-charge on Monday, health ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine said.

"Vaccine is still the most powerful tool to protect the lives of people from COVID-19 attacks," she told reporters while visiting a vaccination site in Phnom Penh.

"Booster doses are crucial to enhance your immune system against the COVID-19, so please come for your booster shots when your turns come," she added.

According to Vandine, the interval between the fifth and the sixth doses is from four to six months.

The Southeast Asian country has controlled the spread of COVID-19 after most of its population have been vaccinated. The kingdom has resumed all socioeconomic activities and reopened its borders since November 2021.

To date, Cambodia has inoculated 15.24 million people, or 95.2 percent of its 16-million population, the health ministry said, adding that 10.4 million people have received a third dose, while 4.78 million have taken a fourth and 1.25 million have got a fifth.

China's Sinovac and Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines have been widely used in the kingdom's immunization program.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, an arm of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said life in Cambodia has been restored to what it was before the COVID-19 and the country has reported no more deaths from the pandemic since April 2022.

"Chinese vaccines have protected millions of lives in Cambodia," he told Xinhua. "Chinese jabs have also helped stabilize health system and boost economic recovery in the kingdom."

He said Cambodia's choice of China as the strategic vaccine supplier from the beginning was completely right.