Covid vaccine priority sought for manufacturing workers

By Anh Minh   May 20, 2021 | 08:31 pm PT
Covid vaccine priority sought for manufacturing workers
Medics take samples of workers at Quang Chau Industrial Park in Bac Giang Province, May 15, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Industrial workers should be vaccinated quickly against Covid-19 since they are vulnerable but crucial to the supply chain, business groups have said.

A communication to the government and related ministries on Thursday by the Vietnam Association for Supporting Industries (VASI) said: "The biggest wish of supporting industry businesses at this time is that the government accelerates Covid-19 vaccination and gives priority to manufacturing workers."

Its chairman, Le Duong Quang, said supporting industry firms are willing to pay to get their employees immunized.

Operating in industrial parks that normally have lots of people in closed places means high risk of infection for workers, the communication said.

Once the infection breaks into an industrial park, it could bring the entire production chain to a halt, causing a serious impact on the supply chains of global companies, it said.

VASI said for this reason the government should add manufacturing companies to the priority list for vaccination.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association made a similar request to the government.

In the ongoing Covid wave that began late last month, infected people have been found in several industrial parks in the contiguous northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.

On Monday Bac Giang had to shut down four IPs with 136,000 workers and hundreds of companies, including Luxshare and Foxconn, both Apple vendors.

In Bac Ninh, Samsung and Canon have had to close after some of their workers contracted the virus and spread it to their colleagues.

The two provinces lead in the number of infections -- 683 in Bac Giang and 378 in Bac Ninh -- as of Friday.

The national count is 1,768.

The priority list for vaccination, which began in March, comprises frontline medical workers, other medical staff, soldiers, police officers, teachers, diplomatic personnel, customs and immigration officers, those working in essential services like transport, people aged 65 and above, the poor, and those with chronic diseases.

People seeking to study or work abroad or living in pandemic-hit areas are also in the list.

Vietnam plans to buy 150 million doses of vaccines this year to immunize 75 million of its 96 million people.

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