Selected SIA staff can receive Covid-19 vaccine from today

The vaccine is available to Singapore-based staff who are currently on a rostered-routing testing programme.
The vaccine is available to Singapore-based staff who are currently on a rostered-routing testing programme.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Singapore Airlines staff have been offered Covid-19 vaccines in the latest step forward in Singapore's vaccination exercise.

It is believed to be a first for an air carrier's staff to have the option to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

An SIA spokesman said yesterday evening that the vaccine is available to Singapore-based staff who are currently on a rostered routine testing programme that requires them to be regularly tested for the Covid-19 virus.

"Those who are eligible include cabin crew, pilots, airport-based staff whose job requires them to interact with passengers, and selected engineering staff," said the spokesman.

"Participation is voluntary, and the SIA Group strongly encourages all eligible staff to take up this offer."

The spokesman said that staff who opt for the vaccine should not be pregnant, have a severely weakened immune system or have a history of severe allergies.

The vaccination exercise will start today at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 4.

The Straits Times understands that the vaccines are also being rolled out to other front-line aviation workers, including ground-handling and engineering staff.

Singapore's nationwide vaccination drive began on Dec 30 last year and is being rolled out to staff across various public healthcare institutions and other front-line workers.

The Republic's chief health scientist, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, has said that Covid-19 vaccination centres, which allow a large number of people to be vaccinated daily, will be ready soon.

He said that vaccinations will also be given at polyclinics and general practitioner clinics.

An SIA cabin crew member and a pilot had last month tested positive for Covid-19, which resulted in an announcement by the authorities that crew members of Singapore carriers would have to undergo stricter Covid-19 control measures with immediate effect.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said then that it was tightening measures to ensure the safety and well-being of air crew and to safeguard public health in Singapore.

It said: "Air crew face considerable risks in the course of their duties. They do so because it is critical for Singapore to maintain air connectivity. Many essential supplies, such as vaccines, can only be delivered by air. Singaporeans overseas and other essential travellers need to be able to travel to and from Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2021, with the headline 'Selected SIA staff can receive Covid-19 vaccine from today'. Print Edition | Subscribe