On 18 January 2020, in line with the Singapore Government’s Sea-Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE) initiative to prioritise vaccines for maritime and aviation workers, SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew stepped forward in solidarity as one of the first union leaders to receive the vaccination at the vaccination centre at Raffles City Convention Centre.
“We are thankful that our local seafarers are offered this opportunity to get vaccinated early. Seafarers are key workers and they play an essential role in ensuring that the supply of goods is undisrupted globally. Given the cross-border nature of their work, the protection that vaccination brings extends beyond the seafarer to his or her friends, family and the larger community.” – SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew
The first Singaporean seafarer to be vaccinated under SAVE was Deck Officer Muhamad Nashrin Bin Ayub. Senior Minister of State in the Ministry for Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Chee Hong Tat, together with Ms Mary Liew caught up with him, where he shared that “The vaccine will help protect me when I go on board vessels, and to give me and my family a greater peace of mind.”
More than 10,000 frontline maritime workers, including port workers, harbour pilots and marine surveyors who work on board ships in Singapore’s port, are expected to be vaccinated by the end of January 2020. SMOU will continue to work with tripartite partners to prioritise vaccine for our essential workers including seafarers and maritime workers to create a safe working environment and protect the community beyond.