China to donate 1m corona vaccine doses to Cambodia

17 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

PHNOM PENH: China will donate one million doses of its Sinovac coronavirus vaccine to Cambodia, the kingdom’s strongman premier Hun Sen has said, thanking “friend” Beijing for its generosity, reports AFP.

Cambodia has long been a staunch ally of Beijing, receiving billions of dollars in soft loans and investment from China.

While many countries reacted early in the pandemic by closing its borders to Chinese travellers, Hun Sen refused, and even travelled to Beijing to meet with leader Xi Jinping in a show of solidarity.

The premier announced late Friday that China has offered to donate shots made by the firm Sinovac.

“Friend China is helping us with one million doses,” Hun Sun said in an audio message on his official Facebook page, adding that the doses will vaccinate 500,000 people.

“To prevent the nation and people from being infected with this deadly virus, we have to use vaccines that were already used on Chinese leaders and millions of people... We cannot wait any longer.”

The first people to get the jab would include frontline health workers, teachers, soldiers, the premier’s bodyguards, and officials around the king, he said.

Sinovac’s CoronaVac was rolled out in Turkey on Friday, after tests there showed it to be 91.25 percent effective.

But more robust trials in Brazil demonstrated an efficacy rate of around 50 percent—much lower than those of rival shots from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca.