May 26, 2021 / 15:40

Industrial parks' workers added to priority list of vaccination

One-third of Vietnam’s Covid-19 infections in the fresh outbreak are workers in industrial parks.

Workers in industrial parks will be added to the priority list for Covid-19 inoculation in Vietnam after the country saw a surge in the number of infections that are mostly from factories.

  Healthcare workers at work. Photo: Do Thuy

The government made the decision following the growing number of cases detected in the northern province of Bac Giang where is home to hundreds of companies, mostly foreign-invested ones. Under the request by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 25, people working in large-sized manufacturing and service establishments will be vaccinated along with the frontline forces.

On May 25, Vietnam recorded the highest-ever daily infections with 444 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 375 in Bac Giang alone.

Due to thin vaccine supply, workers were excluded in the priority list that favors health workers; people directly participating in the fight against Covid-19 like member of the Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control at all levels, those working in quarantine facilities, contact tracing, epidemiological investigation, public Covid-19 groups, volunteers, reporters; military personnel, and police.

Vietnam has 369 industrial parks, nearly 30 border gates, and export processing zones, employing 3.8 million workers; nearly 700 industrial clusters with 600,000 employees.

In mid-May, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam warned that factories and industrial parks are the second most vulnerable places in the Covid-19 pandemic behind hospitals.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has warned of threat of Covid-19 transmission at industrial parks due to air-conditioned environment, narrow accommodation, and shared services in a certain place.

As widespread transmission reported in industrial parks, the Vietnam Association for Supporting Industries (VASI) on May 20 proposed workers among those subject to the vaccination.

Head of VASI Le Duong Quang said companies working in the supporting industries are willing to pay for the immunization if the government allows them to.

Vietnam was one of few countries posting positive economic growth (2.9%) in the face of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It is pursuing the dual goals of containing the virus and reviving the economy.

To secure the vaccine supply, the government asked the ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs to double efforts to fulfill the mission.

The Ministry of Health said suppliers have pledged total 110 million doses but the delivery plans remain uncertain. Meanwhile, developing domestic vaccine is also another important task in which authorized agencies will grant significant support to the research and production as requested by the prime minister.