The State Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 follows a national campaign from Brazil's Ministry of Health, which prioritizes, among others, port workers -including workers in administrative areas-, truck drivers, national airlines employees, subway companies, as well as employees of Brazilian shipping companies, for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The aim of this measure is to "bring relief to these essential service providers, who have not stopped since the beginning of the pandemic," explained sources from Portos do Paraná, a port complex formed by the ports of Paranaguá and Antonina, in east Brazil.

This is great news for our workers who continued, even during the entire pandemic, to provide a great service to our country. These professionals will have the support of the Federal Government to guarantee vaccination as a priority group and we will guarantee safety and the conditions they need to continue on roads, ports and railways,

...says Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, Minister of Infrastructure.

In order to get vaccinated, these workers will need to prove, through documentation that they belong in these professional groups. Current state data suggests that a total of 51,637 workers are included in these categories.

Brazil became the first country in the Americas to put transport workers in priority and this move coincides with calls earlier this week from the shipping industry, led by ICS, to put seafarers at the head of the vaccine queue and to designate them as key workers, to prevent a repeat of the 2020 ‘crew change crisis’.

While more than 40 countries have so far recognised seafarers as key workers, the majority of seafaring nations have not, creating growing demand from within industry for new solutions to the issue of vaccine distribution.