Infographic: Cambodia’s Covid-19 Vaccines

Cambodia has rolled out two Covid-19 vaccines, each requiring two doses, with an about 80 percent efficacy rate in trials. From WHO approval to age eligibility and efficacy against new variants, here’s how the Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines compare.

Cambodia rolled out the second Covid-19 vaccine available in the country on Thursday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen getting the first of 324,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses supplied by the WHO-backed Covax program.

The prime minister said Cambodians who are 60 years old or above, like him, would be eligible for this vaccine, while those 59 and younger could receive the Sinopharm vaccine, which started being used in the country last month.

Both Cambodians and foreign residents would be vaccinated free of charge, he said.

While both vaccines require two doses and have been reported to have an about 80 percent efficacy rate in trials, so far only one, Oxford-AstraZeneca, has been approved by the World Health Organization, with the WHO’s decision on Sinopharm expected this month.

More than 125,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine have already been given in Cambodia, toward a total vaccination target of 20 million doses, or 10 million people inoculated. 

Here’s how the two vaccines compare.




  • February 4
    Cambodia approves for emergency use
  • February 10
    Official rollout
  • March
    WHO assessment decision anticipated
  • February 12
    Cambodia approves for emergency use
  • February 15
    WHO approves for emergency use
  • March 4
    Official rollout

Technical Name



Vaccine Type

Made from inactivated coronavirus, produced in Vero cells. Inactivated viruses have been used to make vaccines for polio, rabies and hepatitis A.

Made from a weakened version of an adenovirus, or common cold virus, from chimpanzees, which was modified to look more like coronavirus.


Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products, Sinopharm (Chinese-state-owned)

AstraZeneca-SKBio (South Korea) and the Serum Institute of India

Key Figures


Efficacy reported by Sinopharm. The United Arab Emirates said its Phase 3 trials showed an 86 percent efficacy rate.


Efficacy reported by AstraZeneca in February 2021 for doses separated by 12 weeks. 63 percent according to the WHO.


Doses received from China.


Doses received from Covax.

1 million

Doses pledged by China.

1.1 million

Doses pledged.


Countries using the vaccine.


Countries using the vaccine.

Efficacy Against New Variants

Chinese researchers in February 2021 tested BBIBP-CorV against a variant called B.1.351, which was first found in South Africa, according to the New York Times. The researchers said the vaccine’s antibody response was only modestly weaker against the variant, but their study had not been peer-reviewed.

A small trial in South Africa failed to show that the vaccine protected against the variant B.1.351, which was first identified there. But Oxford said in February 2021 they were working on a second generation of the vaccine to target coronavirus variants.

Known Side Effects or Adverse Reactions

Phase 1/2 trial showed no serious side effects, according to an October 2020 study in the Lancet medical journal.

In a Phase 1/2 trial, vaccine developers detected no severe side effects, according to a July 2020 study published in the Lancet medical journal.

Phase 2/3 trials in the U.K. published in the Lancet did not see serious side effects in any age group.


18-59 year olds.

Over-59 year olds.

Foreign diplomats, U.N. officers, international NGO staff.

Storage Requirements

2-8 degrees Celsius refrigeration.

Protect from direct sunlight exposure.

2-8 degrees Celsius refrigeration.

Stable in refrigerator for at least six months.

Protect from light.

Photo credit: ADB and NIH.


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