Jobs of over 500 sailors vaccinated with Covaxin under threat in Maharashtra

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Mumbai: Bharat biotech-manufactured Covaxin vaccine has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). Sailors are mainly aware of this problem. Shipping companies in many countries like European nations, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia have denied entry to people who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, threatening the jobs of Indian sailors.

Sailors returning home after the Corona infection began have been unemployed for the past year.

Since the onset of the epidemic, various countries have begun to relax restrictions. Therefore, since April-May, most shipping companies have issued orders to recruit employees.

The central government approved the use of Covaxin for emergency use before the third phase test report came out; But shipping companies in the UK, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia have objected as it has not yet been included in the World Health Organization’s list of approved vaccines. These companies are giving priority to recruiting Indian sailors who have been vaccinated with Covishield. Those taking the vaccine are being instructed to wait for WHO approval, said Abhijit Sangale, executive president of the All India Seafarers Union.

It has come to light that more than 2000 out of the total sailors across the country have been vaccinated with Covaxin. This includes 500 to 600 sailors from Maharashtra. The staff are now in a dilemma as they cannot get a second vaccine. Due to the outbreak of the second wave in India and the outbreak of the new Delta Plus virus, these foreign companies are not willing to make any concessions. They are being told by the concerned shipping companies to wait till the approval of the World Health Organization. Until then, the sailors are worried about whether the jobs will last or not, said Sangale.

“Bharat Biotech should make a concerted effort to get the vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. Otherwise all these sailors will be unemployed. We have also written to the WHO about the plight of the sailors.”
– Abhijit Sangle, Working President,
All India Seafarers Union

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