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Ho Chi Minh City
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

HBA proposes booster shots be given to workers

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority Businesses Association (HBA) has proposed that Covid-19 vaccine booster shots be administered to 320,000 workers of 17 export processing, industrial and hi-tech zones.

Nguyen Van Be, president of HBA, said yesterday, December 10, that booster shots should be prioritized for workers who recovered from Covid six months ago, and those with underlying health conditions and a weakened immune system who could be at risk of infection. Besides, over 300,000 workers had received two shots and most of them are eligible to get the next shot.

According to the HBA leader, the Covid transmission risk at export processing zones, industrial zones, and hi-tech parks remains high, as factories there have enclosed space, and some manufacturing areas cannot practice social distancing. Further, workers usually live in cramped boarding houses, which could increase the transmission risk.

Since HCMC lifted mobile restrictions and started reopening its economy, Covid infections at factories have been on the rise, with more than 100 cases per day. Covid-infected workers had to stay away from work, undergo medical treatment and a quarantine period lasting from 12 to 18 days that left a major impact on production activities.

Therefore, the provision of booster shots is expected to help businesses protect their labor force and avoid supply chain disruptions. The city should view 320,000 workers of over 1,500 businesses operating at industrial zones as the key workforce to work out recovery policies.

He added that industrial zones in HCMC annually post over US$27 billion in export revenue, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the city’s total export revenue.

HCMC is among the first localities in Vietnam to begin the booster shot rollout. The city planned to administer boosters to local residents in two phases. In the first phase starting from December 10 until the end of the year, it will focus on vaccinating people with immunodeficiency who had received the second dose for at least 28 days and those who got two doses for at least six months. The second phase will take place in 2022, with the booster shots given to priority groups and people aged 18 and older.

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