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VASEP asks for permission to buy 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses
Tuesday,  6/15/2021, 11:32 

VASEP asks for permission to buy 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses

By Trong Nghia

People work at a seafood processing plant - PHOTO: TRONG NGHIA

HCMC - The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) is seeking the prime minister’s permission to register for the purchase of 500,000 vaccine doses to inoculate workers in the seafood industry against Covid-19.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said VASEP and its member businesses will pay for the purchase of the Covid-19 vaccines and vaccination costs.

According to Hoe, there are currently over four million people working in the seafood industry, including hundreds of thousands of workers processing seafood. Most seafood processing plants employ 500-3,000 people each, while the large ones have up to 5,000-10,000 laborers.

The large number of workers puts these venues at a high risk of Covid-19 infection. Therefore, the workers should be vaccinated soon.

“If a seafood company is closed down for 14-21 days, its production plan for the entire year may be ruined, causing serious consequences. The companies would go bankrupt while the workers would lose their jobs. This can cause economic losses of billions of dollars and seriously affect the reputation of Vietnam’s seafood industry,” Hoe said.

Many seafood companies have suggested that they get priority for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Do Thi Thanh Thuy, business manager of the An Giang-based Nam Viet Joint Stock Company, said the company has asked some 6,000 workers at all of its plants to comply with the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures such as wearing of masks, using hand sanitizers and keeping a safe physical distance from each other.

However, these are just temporary solutions and the company is seeking the Government’s support to receive the Covid-19 vaccines soon.

Nguyen Thi Anh, director of the Tien Giang-based Song Tien Seafood Corporation, said the company has received a large number of orders. “If the workers are infected with Covid-19, our production would be disrupted,” she said. Therefore, the workers need to be vaccinated to ensure continuous operations in the context of the complicated Covid-19 situation.

The Ministry of Finance said Vietnam needs 150 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to vaccinate 75% of the population at an estimated cost of VND25.2 trillion.

Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong said the country will receive regular Covid-19 vaccine shipments from August 2021.

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