Cambodia Among First Developing Countries to Announce Vaccine Rollout in First Quarter

Cambodia is among three dozen developing countries to announce plans to begin rolling out COVID-19 vaccines in the first quarter of this year, the World Bank said Friday.

In a report released in Washington overnight, the bank identified others as Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Fiji, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Tonga, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, and Zambia.

“Fair, broad, and fast access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines, especially in poor countries, is vital to save lives and strengthen global economic recovery,” said a statement accompanying the report.

“Only once the pandemic is contained in all countries will each country be safe from a resurgence and able to focus all efforts on overcoming the deepest global recession in eight decades,” it said.

The World Bank report assessed readiness to safely deploy COVID-19 vaccines in 128 low and middle-income countries.

“Results indicate that income level and other economic indicators correlate weakly with vaccine preparedness,” the report said.

The World Bank said its assessment was based on work with governments, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (Gavi).