ANKARA

Cambodia received the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from China on Sunday evening, the country’s premier said.

In a statement posted on his Facebook account, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first batch of 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were donated by China.

Alongside the Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian, Sen said: “We have received the vaccine today thanks to the solid cooperation between Cambodia and China. If not for this relationship, we would not have achieved this for our people.”

The vaccines were brought from China’s Sinopharm pharmaceutical company.

Sen asked for further assistance from the Chinese government.

“I am hopeful that we will continue to receive it incrementally,” he added, according to the daily Phnom Penh Post.

Ministries of Health and the National Defense of Cambodia will each take 300,000 doses from the shipment for vaccination.

So far 474 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country, with no deaths.

Sen, 68, said he would not be vaccinated as planned on Feb. 10 as Chinese officials informed him “the vaccine is intended for people between the ages of 18-59.”

“The safety and efficacy of the vaccine for people over 60 years old are still being studied,” he added.

“I approve of letting my three sons get vaccinated, as well as my two sons-in-law and commanders of the army,” he said. “The vaccination of officials would demonstrate the government’s responsibility.”

The prime minister said his government is mulling to buy vaccines from other countries as well including from Thailand and Russia.

Serum Institute of India will also send a shipment of at least 100,000 doses of vaccine to the kingdom.

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