COVID-19: Over 10,000 maritime staff to be vaccinated by end-January – MPA

A tanker vessel docked at Shell refinery on Pulau Bukom off Singapore on November 11, 2020. - Shell Singapore said in a statement on November 10, will reduce crude processing capacity at Pulau Bukom in effort to downsize for low-carbon shift operation from crude-oil, fuels-base product. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A tanker vessel docked at Shell refinery on Pulau Bukom off Singapore on 11 November, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by end-January, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday (18 January).

Thus far, more than 700 personnel have been vaccinated over the past few days under the Sea–Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE) with about 6,000 registrations for vaccinations received this week, the MPA added in a press release.

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, said the MPA.

Those who are currently on the seven-day rostered routine testing regime will be tested every 14 days. Similarly, those who are currently on the 14-day regime will be tested once a month.

PSA Marine harbour pilot Loh Kah Wai was the first maritime worker to be vaccinated.

“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,” said the 55-year-old.

Harbour pilots like Loh are part of the frontline maritime personnel in Singapore. They include port workers, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to work onboard ships in Singapore’s port. Part of their jobs include navigation, refuelling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as operations to transfer cargos.

Harbourcraft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents living in the community are also prioritised for vaccination.

“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,” MPA chief executive Quah Ley Hoon said.

“We strongly encourage them to come forward for early vaccination.”

Frontline maritime personnel can receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at the vaccination centre at Raffles City Convention Centre. Prior appointments are required.

MPA, Singapore Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore are reaching out to the companies involved to schedule appointments.

Eligible companies can submit vaccination bookings via, which requires a booking code.

Companies which have not received a booking code can write to

All frontline maritime personnel are encouraged to adhere to their scheduled appointments to minimise individual wait time and to better utilise precious healthcare resources.

Earlier on Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said some 7,000 aviation workers are scheduled to get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week under the SAVE exercise.

“We have sufficient doses to vaccinate all 20,000 frontline aircrew and airport workers.” said the CAAS.

A total of 37,000 frontline workers in the aviation and maritime sectors are expected to be vaccinated during the exercise within the next two months.

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