Seafarers should be put on priority list for COVID-19 vaccine

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Seafarers wear protective clothing. — Photo vinalines.com.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has asked the Government to add seafarers and maritime workers to the list of frontline workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

This agency also requested the Government to direct the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help Vietnamese crew members who stuck abroad return home on repatriation flights.

Vietnamese seafarers who are quarantined in concentrated isolation areas should be prioritised at an affordable cost, the MoT said in the written request to governments and People’s Committees of provinces and cities.

At the end of March, leaders of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a joint statement calling on United Nations member states to put seafarers and crew members at the head of the vaccine queue to facilitate safe travel between countries.

In a letter sent to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Nguyễn Xuân Sang, Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration and Deputy Secretary-General of the IMO Vietnam, asked IMO to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations for sailors regardless of their nationality.

Sang proposed that IMO member countries include maritime workers on their priority lists , administering the vaccines to sailors and maritime workers on vessels that dock at ports under their management.

The Vietnam Shipowners’ Association the move is to keep nation supplied with vital goods and contributing to the recovery and stabilisation of the economy.

Volunteers injected with made-in-Vietnam COVID candidate vaccine

Six volunteers on Monday received the second shot of a homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, COVIVAC.

These people were injected with the first shot of COVIVAC, Việt Nam’s second candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, on March 15.

The vaccine was developed by Nha Trang-based Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC).

Ninety-six volunteers have been had been given the first shot in the first phase of COVIVAC’s clinical trials, according to Phạm Thị Vân Anh, director of Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, Hà Nội Medical University.

There were no serious reactions after 24-hours and 7-days in the volunteers.

Reactions were expected, mostly mild symptoms such as pain at the injection site and headache.

It is expected that the first shot of COVIVAC vaccine’s test will be completed on April 18 for 120 volunteers. — VNS

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