Singapore Land Transport Authority: Covid-19 vaccination exercise for taxi, private-hire drivers kicks off, over 50,000 drivers to get jab

A taxi driver identified only as Tham, 72, was among the first taxi drivers to receive the Covid-19 vaccination February 23, 2021. — Ministry of Transport handout pic via TODAY
A taxi driver identified only as Tham, 72, was among the first taxi drivers to receive the Covid-19 vaccination February 23, 2021. — Ministry of Transport handout pic via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, Feb 23 — The Covid-19 vaccination exercise for taxi and private-hire drivers kicked off today, with more than 50,000 drivers expected to receive the jab over the coming weeks.

Active taxi and private-hire drivers will progressively receive an SMS notification with a unique link to book their vaccination appointment at any of the vaccination centres, polyclinics or public health preparedness clinics that are operating as vaccination sites, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a statement today.

“We encourage drivers to step forward to be vaccinated in order to help strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s essential transport services,” said LTA.

Yee Wee Tang, managing director for Grab Singapore, said in a statement that the transport firm will provide its drivers with an extension of its group prolonged medical leave insurance policy to cover the loss of income should any of them become hospitalised as a result of side effects from the vaccine.

This is so as to encourage its drivers to get vaccinated, said Yee.

“We will also continue to engage our driver-partners through our driver app to help them better understand the benefits of the vaccination.”

In a Facebook post today, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said the vaccination exercise is an important added protection for taxi and private-hire drivers, as well as their families and commuters.

This is notwithstanding the fact that none of the 12,000 drivers who went for the voluntary Covid-19 swab test last September tested positive for the coronavirus, partly due to safe measures already put in place, he added.

Singapore’s vaccination exercise started in December, with healthcare workers being the first to get the jab.

Since then, frontline workers in other sectors such as the aviation, maritime, and community care sectors, have also progressively been inoculated.

Yesterday, hundreds of seniors turned up at community clubs for the first day of a nationwide voluntary vaccination exercise for those aged 70 and above.

The vaccination exercise is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the population in April or some time after that, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had said. — TODAY

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