Processing wood at Minh Thành Company in Đồng Nai Province. Many companies want their workers vaccinated against Covid-19 on a priority basis, and said they are willing to pay for the vaccine. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association.
HÀ NỘI — Manufacturing workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible as they are vulnerable to infection, according to business groups.
Lê Dương Quang, chairman of the Vietnam Association for Supporting Industries (VASI), said businesses in the supporting industry were willing to pay the cost for employees so they could be inoculated quickly and effectively.
“The biggest wish of support industry firms at this time is that the Government speed up the COVID-19 vaccination and give priority to manufacturing workers,” he said.
The association has 300 members with about 60,000 employees. It is part of the global supply chain for manufacturing industries in Việt Nam and for exports.
According to Quang, supporting industry firms all operate in industrial zones.
The risk of disease spread is always high, threatening to disrupt production and causing a serious impact on the supply chains of global corporations.
Hundreds of COVID-19 infections have been recorded in many manufacturing enterprises in industrial zones in Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh provinces in recent weeks. Therefore, VASI proposed the Government add manufacturing companies to the priority list for vaccination to ensure smooth operation.
The Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFOREST) made a similar request on Friday.
In a written document to the Government and related agencies, the association proposed the Government allow enterprises in the sector to order about 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, the wood industry employs 700,000 employees. In addition, there are tens of thousands of labourers in craft villages across the country. This is an important resource in production for the industry to reach the export target of more than US$15 billion this year and $20 billion by 2025.
For the safety of workers at companies and craft villages as well as to ensure there are enough resources to achieve the target, the VIFOREST called for the Government to facilitate its enterprises in accessing and order 1 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19 with funding from businesses in the industry and other sources.
“If each business spends its own money to buy vaccines for its employees, this cost will be many times cheaper than the damage caused by COVID-19. Being aware of that issue, the wood industry business community is committed to being ready to accompany the Government," said Đỗ Xuân Lập, VIFOREST’s chairman.
Huỳnh Quang Thanh, director of Hiệp Long Ltd co, agreed, saying: "For each individual, the value of a dose of vaccine is not much, but this is a great opportunity for businesses and for the whole society when the economy reopened."
Earlier on Tuesday, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) also sent a proposal to the Government for the same reason.
Vũ Đức Giang, chairman of VITAS, said giving priority for firms with large employees would "speed up the community immunity and help business stabilise production."
Việt Nam plans to buy 150 million doses of vaccines this year to immunise 75 million of its 96 million people.
The 11 priority groups for COVID-19 vaccines are medical workers; people in the anti-pandemic efforts (COVID-19 prevention and control steering committees of all levels, quarantine facility staff, reporters, etc); diplomats, customs officers and people working entry and exit procedures; military personnel; public security forces; teachers; elderly people aged above 65 years old and essential workers (aviation, transport, tourism staff, utility workers, etc).
People with chronic health issues and people who want to study or work overseas and people in virus-hit regions are also on the list. — VNS