Singapore recently became one of the first countries to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to its frontline maritime personnel — or those workers that go onboard vessels at the port and come in contact with people from outside of Singapore.
In a statement, the Port of Singapore said the vaccination is part of the national COVID-19 vaccination strategy to protect frontline personnel and their family members, as well as residents living in Singapore as they play a major role in keeping the Port of Singapore open and ensuring the undisrupted flow of goods.
Under its "Sea – Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE)" the port noted that over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by end January.
These frontline personnel include port workers, harbour pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to work onboard ships in our port.
The Port of Singapore said these maritime personnel carry out essential works including navigation, refuelling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as operations to transfer cargos.
Harbour craft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents living in the community are also prioritised for vaccination.
So far, the port noted that 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.
Due to the better protection offered by vaccination, frontline maritime personnel who have completed their full course of vaccination will be subjected to fewer testing requirements. Going forward, those who are currently on the 7-day Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) will be tested every 14 days; those who are currently on the 14-day RRT will be tested once a month.
“We rely on our frontline maritime personnel for the transportation of what we need every day, 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,” said Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive, MPA.