Covid-19 vaccination centre supervisor had no prior industry experience

Mr Timothy Yeo (standing), oversees the manpower needs at the vaccination centre and manages logistics.
Mr Timothy Yeo (standing), oversees the manpower needs at the vaccination centre and manages logistics.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - A year ago, Mr Timothy Yeo, 41, was working as a private-hire driver. But when Covid-19 struck, he often found himself having almost no passengers to pick up.

He is married with two daughters, aged one and five. The younger girl was born during the circuit breaker period last April.

Mr Yeo said: "My income dropped by 90 per cent. I felt stressed as I needed to put three meals on the table and also had another mouth to feed."

His former secondary school classmate, Ms Samanthra Ng, 41, heard about his plight.

She is the senior operations manager at Thomson Medical and the project manager of its two vaccination centres at Bishan Community Club (CC) and Senja-Cashew CC in Bukit Panjang.

She asked him to join its serology team as an administrative assistant in June last year.

He was hired as the supervisor of the vaccination centre at Senja-Cashew CC last month. He is now under a one-year contract for the vaccination project.

As site supervisor, Mr Yeo oversees the manpower needs at the vaccination centre and manages logistics. For instance, he tracks the daily usage of the vaccines, ensures they do not run out and places orders for them.

He also manages complaints from the public about long waiting times, which typically happen from 8am to 11am and were especially common during the first week of operations. He said: "To make sure they are not frustrated, I will let them know how long they will have to wait, which is usually about 10 minutes."

When he notices a crowd, he redistributes manpower to open more registration booths, and instructs staff to try clearing the screening questions faster.

He also helps to assure those who have concerns about possible side effects of the vaccine that it is safe, and takes them to the doctor on site to answer their questions.

Mr Yeo said: "I like this job and I'm very thankful for it. I feel proud to be a part of this big national project."