Singapore has said it will give at least 12,000 doses of vaccine to international seafarers in its next phase of the crew vaccination program.
According to Seatrade Maritime News, Singapore started vaccinating non-resident seafarers as part of its crew vaccination initiative in August.
He said that to date, more than 8,000 non-Singaporean seafarers had received at least one dose of vaccination in the Republic, and 90 percent were fully vaccinated.
He said these included 5,200 resident crew members working in port waters and 2,800 non-resident crew members.
Under the SEAVAX initiative, international seafarers can be vaccinated with a dose of Moderna either when changing crews in Singapore or when their ships call in port. The vaccine is available in first, second and second injections, with the costs fully covered by the industry.
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim said: “I am heartened to hear of the extension of the program to make available at least 12,000 doses of vaccine to vaccinate crews aboard ocean-going vessels calling at Singapore and embarking on ships. in Singapore.
“Initiatives like this strengthen my belief that we will be able to overcome the crew change crisis and protect the health and well-being of our seafarers as we strive to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic . ”
While vaccination for international sailors is available in the United States and a growing number of European states, Asian countries have been slow to follow suit.
Authorities say the country could provide more than 12,000 doses of the vaccine if it sees demand from the industry. Singapore Senior Minister of State, Department of Transport Chee Tat said, “Singapore is ready to provide more vaccines beyond 12,000 doses if there is additional demand from shipping companies and seafarers. ”
The vaccination program is being undertaken by the Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience Taskforce, an international tripartite alliance led by the Singapore Shipping Association.
Singapore’s crew change program is also continuing and it is expected that 200,000 crew exchanges will have been facilitated by the end of December since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Currently, the number stands at nearly from 190,000.