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Vietnam: Industry bodies demand prioritising retail and garment workers for COVID-19 vaccination

“Industry ministry seeks Covid vaccination priority for retail workers”, 4 June 2021

The Ministry of Industry and Trade wants employees at retailers selling essential goods to be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccination, saying they face a high risk of infection.

It has made the proposal to the Government following demands from large retail chains and the Association of Vietnam Retailers.

...It also urged the Ministry of Health to assist retail businesses with sourcing vaccines and immunizing their workers.

...Enterprises in some other sectors like textile and garment, footwear, fisheries, and electronics have also called for prioritizing their workers since most work in industrial zones and face great risk.

Le Tien Truong, chairman of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said delayed deliveries could result in contract cancellations and penalties running into billions of dollars, and so textile and garment workers should be prioritized for vaccination, especially in pandemic-hit areas like Bac Ninh and Bac Giang Provinces, HCMC and Hanoi.

"Vinatex is willing to pay for the vaccines." He said it is prepared to spend VND100-200 billion ($4.3-8.6 million) for the vaccinations.

The Private Economic Development Research Board has recommended that the government should allow enterprises to directly buy vaccines from suppliers for their employees.