Singapore has become one of the first countries to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime personnel, with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore noting, “these workers go onboard vessels at our port and come in contact with people from outside of Singapore.”
Under Singapore’s Sea – Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by end January. These frontline personnel include port workers, harbor pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to work onboard ships in the Port of Singapore. Harborcraft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents living in the community are also prioritized for vaccination.
More than 700 personnel have been vaccinated over the past few days to prepare for the full roll-out of SAVE. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has received about 6,000 registrations for vaccination this week.
Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “We rely on our frontline maritime personnel for the transportation of what we need everyday, including food, medical supplies, and consumer goods. We hope that the vaccination can give them peace of mind when they perform their work onboard ships. This will provide an additional layer of protection, and keep their family and the community safe. We strongly encourage them to come forward for early vaccination.”
The first maritime worker to be vaccinated was PSA Marine harbor pilot, Mr. Loh Kah Wai, 55. He said, “The vaccination keeps me safe and enables me to do my job with less worry. It’s one more layer of protection, not just for me but for my fellow harbour pilots and my family.”