Jun 2nd, 2021 06/02/21 | News

COVID Vaccines For CCF Communities

690 CCF community members receive first vaccine

So far 690 CCF community members have received a COVID-19 vaccine as part of a mass vaccination program in Phnom Penh.

CCF’s Community Outreach team has been working with CCF communities to register for the vaccine.

A mass vaccination program for Phnom Penh was announced on 27 April in a bid to combat the first serious outbreak of COVID-19 in Cambodia, which led to the first infections in CCF communities.

Cases of coronavirus in Cambodia have now passed 32,000.

As of 26 May, a total of 690 people in CCF communities had received their first dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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The jab has been passed for use in adults aged 18 years and older.

Some of the grannies in CCF’s Granny Program have also been vaccinated.

330 CCF community members have received two doses of the vaccine.

And 90% of CCF staff have had a first vaccine.

CCF’s Neeson Cripps Academy is now being used as a vaccination centre, meaning more community members will be vaccinated in the coming weeks. The school is located right in the heart of the communities where CCF works.

“The CCF team, from our frontline community outreach and childcare workers through to those who work in the back offices of HR, procurement and IT, have been quite inspirational,” said Scott Neeson, CCF’s Founder and Executive Director.

“Our priority is keeping the community healthy and safe including the most vulnerable. My own personal worry is those in the granny programs who are most at risk of COVID-19."

"My fear is the success of the government's lockdowns may lead to complacency. It's still a very delicate situation and now is not the time for people to be taking chances."

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Scott Neeson checks on CCF community members

Vaccinations are managed by Cambodia’s Ministry of Health and administered at approval sites or clinics. NGO medical clinics such as CCF’s do not have direct access to vaccines.

Cambodia has received vaccines provided by the UN-backed COVAX program, which aims to distribute vaccines to less developed countries, as well as granted supplies of Sinopharm from China.

It is estimated that 46% of the adult population in the city of Phnom Penh have now been vaccinated.

Local government, aid organizations and other agencies have been involved in helping arrange and administer the COVID vaccinations, including Samdech Techo Voluntary Youth Doctor Association (TYDA), a medical relief NGO in Cambodia.

All of CCF’s communities around the former landfill in Steung Meanchey had been in designated Red Zones, areas which are considered most at risk of infections, and subject to the tough test lockdown restrictions in Cambodia.

Community members were unable to leave their homes to buy food or work, placing many in a more vulnerable situation than ever before.

CCF worked with authorities to reach communities and ensure children and families have emergency aid.

On May 20th, all Red Zones in Phnom Penh were lifted. Only individual households and buildings with positive cases inside will now be designated Red Zones.

CCF communities are now in a Yellow Zone, allowed to freely move around. Any families with a positive member will remain under strict quarantine, however.

Markets and restaurants have reopened but schools remain closed.

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L: TOP: Scott Neeson distributes rice

Since February, CCF students have been working online at home in the community or with distance learning packs.

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CCF students studying in the community

A night curfew across Phnom Penh has also been lifted, although the government has warned that restrictions will be reintroduced if infections rise again.

As of 2 June, there have been 32,189 cases detected in Cambodia, with 236 deaths.

The COVID outbreak in Cambodia is linked to the first serious community transmission of the virus, which began on 20 February after a reported breach of quarantine.

Up to that point, Cambodia had successfully contained the spread of COVID-19, seeing very few cases compared to other countries.

Throughout 2020, as infections swept around the world, there were only 450 recorded cases in Cambodia.

Cambodia has reportedly administered at least 4.5 million doses of COVID vaccines so far - enough to have vaccinated about 13.7% of the country’s population with two doses - as it pushes to build immunity.

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Children and a family in one of CCF’s communities
Written by

Kate Ginn

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