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Global Times

Frontline staff in civil aviation plan to take COVID-19 vaccine

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/3 12:48:23

Frontline employees in civil aviation industry plan to become a key group to take the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, a document obtained by the Global Times shows.

Released by the CAAC North China Regional Administration on Tuesday, the document says the move is intended to guard against the second wave of epidemic that may occur in China in autumn and winter, as well as the huge pressure brought by easing of travel restrictions by Western countries.

The document says the emergency use (trial) of vaccines is only for people aged 18-59 who are willing to vaccinate, and the key groups include various frontline civil aviation workers and frontline health workers.

The staff from several domestic airlines also confirmed the news. An anonymous staff said that the document covers frontline employees such as pilots, cabin crew, ground service personnel, and flight attendants. The current types and costs of vaccination are still not clear.

Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Development Center for Medical Science and Technology of the National Health Commission, told China Central Television on August 22 that China officially launched the urgent use of COVID-19 vaccines on July 22.

Zheng noted that in the next step of preventing possible outbreaks this autumn and winter, vaccines' availability will be extended to people working in food markets, transport systems and services industries.

As a group that may come into contact with a large number of passengers, civil aviation frontline employees face a greater risk of infection in their work, especially pilots and cabin crews flying international routes.

A pilot from one domestic airline company recently flew several international flights. He told the Global Times that although the flight has strictly implemented various epidemic prevention and control measures, he still dare not easily take off the protective wear during the long flight.

The pilot said that he welcomes relevant departments to provide frontline civil aviation staff with the vaccine for everyone to choose whether to take it or not.

The civil aviation regulator had cancelled 52 inbound flights by Tuesday, triggered by the circuit breakers.

Beijing has gradually resumed direct international flights starting Thursday as the COVID-19 outbreak has been contained.



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