Covid-19 vaccination drive in S'pore begins for over 50,000 taxi & private hire drivers

Part of Singapore's national vaccination strategy.

Ashley Tan | February 23, 2021, 02:10 PM

Vaccination efforts for taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers commenced on Tuesday (Feb. 23).

This is part of Singapore's national vaccination strategy — jointly organised by the LTA and Ministry of Health, and supported by the National Taxi Association (NTA), the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA), and the taxi and PHC operators — to protect frontline transport workers.

Eligible drivers will receive SMSes

According to a press release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), by the end of this week over 50,000 active taxi and PHC drivers will progressively get SMSes with a unique link for them to book their vaccination appointments.

They can take the vaccine at any of the vaccination centres, 20 polyclinics, or Public Health Preparedness Clinics operating as vaccination sites.

The Straits Times reported that around 300 drivers got their first jabs today at a vaccination centre occupying the former Hong Kah Secondary School.

In the release, LTA encouraged drivers to get vaccinated to "help strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s essential transport services."

The Chief Executive of LTA, Ng Lang, said that vaccinations help give drivers "additional peace of mind" by protecting them and their families.

Additionally, those taking taxis and PHCs to commute have added assurance.

This "contribute[s] to the overall community resilience against Covid-19," he said.

Labour MP and Director at the National Trades Union Congress Yeo Wan Ling added that the NTA and NPHVA have been working closely with drivers and tripartite partners to "offer a safe commuting experience".

Drivers have been maintaining good personal hygiene, ensuring the cleanliness of their vehicles and practicing safe management measures while ferrying commuters.

She said: "Our drivers also want to do their part in Singapore’s vaccination strategy. This move will further protect them, their families, as well as our commuters."

In a separate statement, Grab's Managing Director Yee Wee Tang expressed the company's support for the vaccination efforts, adding that it is an important step in "helping Singapore move into recovery mode".

Furthermore, Yee revealed that Grab will help cover potential loss of income should drivers be hospitalised due to side effects from the vaccine, by offering an extension of the Group Prolonged Medical Leave insurance policy.

Grab will also continue to engage driver-partners through their app to help them better understand the benefits of the vaccination.

Top photo from Wikimedia Commons