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Goa seafarers say gap between vaccine doses may hamper job prospects

Last Updated 31 May 2021, 05:11 IST

Even as the Goa government has decided to give priority to seafarers in vaccination against Covid-19, an association of sailors has said they may lose their jobs due to the nearly three-month gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine.

Goan Seamen's Association of India (GSIA) spokesman Dixon Vaz told PTI on Sunday that they would meet Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and demand that the time gap between two doses of the vaccine be reduced.

Sawant on Sunday said couples with children below the age of two, people with co-morbidities, rickshaw/taxi drivers, seafarers and differently-abled persons would be given priority in vaccination.

Vaz said they welcome the decision of the government, but the seafarers will have to wait for three months to get the second dose, only after which they will be able to sail.

"Shipping companies will not wait for so long for their crew to join. We fear they may replace the staff in case of delay," he said.

"I know it is not the prerogative of the state government to reduce the gap between vaccine doses, but the state can certainly suggest the Centre to do so," he added.

Vaz also expressed apprehensions over the Bharat Biotech's vaccine Covaxin for seafarers since they have to sail to various countries.

Bharat Biotech last week said it expects approval for its vaccine from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use authorisation during July-September.

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(Published 31 May 2021, 05:11 IST)

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