Cambodia tops the list in Asia for the country with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated individuals in its population. The country’s population of over 16 million saw about 82% receiving at least 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since November 3, according to ourworldindata.org.
The percentage of people fully vaccinated has beaten Singapore, Brunei and South Korea by 1%. And, he beat Japan and Malaysia by 2%. The same website said Thailand and Vietnam vaccinated 61% and 60% respectively. Indonesia and Laos were the lowest ranked with 44% each. Globally, Cambodia ranks fifth, which is pretty impressive in every way. The United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Cuba and Chile beat Cambodia for the top 4 rankings.
Reuters coronavirus tracker, however, says Cambodia’s vaccination rate is even higher than that of ourworldindata.org. Cambodia has in fact fully vaccinated 84.4% of its population, according to Reuters. Now, as the Kingdom rolls out vaccines for children aged 3 and 4 in the near future, the government’s plan to vaccinate 91% of the country against Covid-19 is on track to materialize.
About half of the world’s population has now received at least 1 dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, but the situation is dramatically different in low-income countries. These countries would see less than 4% of their total population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, but Cambodia remained an exception. As many expect Southeast Asia’s vaccination rates to roughly match its levels of economic development, Cambodia has emerged as a leader in vaccine distribution.
But, its response to the Covid pandemic has not been without harsh criticism. The government of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has come under fire for allegedly using the pandemic as a pretext to pursue political vendettas against government critics. Such actions would include the arrest of dozens of journalists and members of opposition parties for criticizing the government’s response to Covid. And, last April and May, the closures saw restrictions that cut off the food supply to tens of thousands of garment workers, market vendors and other citizens who resided in Covid’s ‘red zones’. -19.
Despite criticism, Cambodia is opening up to fully vaccinated tourists in order to revive its economy. Those who want to enter the Kingdom and are fully vaccinated, will have to undergo a 7-day quarantine. And, a 5-day non-quarantine program is offered at specific stations. This program is expected to start in late November, with many business travelers being allowed to self-quarantine for just 3 days.