A joint press release was published by MPA-EDB-SFA-STB on Monday (30 August) announcing the roll out of the Sea Crew Vaccination Initiative or SEAVAX to allow eligible groups of non-resident foreign sea crew to be vaccinated. This was announced by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport, at the opening of this year’s International Safety@Sea Week:
Singapore is one of the first countries to vaccinate maritime workers and local seafarers as early as January 2021. To date, more than 90% of Singapore’s maritime workers and seafarers are fully vaccinated. In particular, 89% of the 7,500 resident seafarers working in Singapore’s port waters have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 82% of them have been fully vaccinated.
As a major transhipment and bunkering hub in one of the world’s major shipping lanes, Singapore will play our part in the global initiative to vaccinate seafarers. Under the new SEAVAX initiative, eligible groups of non-resident foreign sea crew will be offered COVID-19 vaccination on a voluntary basis from 30 August 2021. These include:
The Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to eligible foreign sea crew, subject to availability. They can receive their vaccinations at designated sites that will be set up close to them. Companies or individuals should be prepared to pay for the vaccination services.
Over the next few weeks, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will reach out to the companies involved to schedule the vaccinations. There will be strict enforcement to ensure that only eligible sea crew are scheduled for vaccination
Companies with eligible foreign sea crew who have not been informed by their respective agencies by (30 September) may request for vaccination by sending supporting documentation to the agencies. For yachts, ship supply vessels and regional ferries, companies can contact MPA at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for fishing vessels, companies can contact SFA at SFA_FET@sfa.gov.sg.
Sea crew are the backbone of global trade. Singapore continues to facilitate crew change to help sea crew who are still onboard vessels beyond their contract duration.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Singapore has facilitated more than 160,000 crew changes, both sign-on and sign-offs. As the lead of the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund the Singapore Shipping Association is also working on an industry proposal to vaccinate ocean-going seafarers when they sign-on to their vessels in Singapore, as part of the crew change process.
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 1 September, 2021
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