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Singapore

Slightly more than half of migrant workers in Jurong dorm vaccinated or have verified status, says MOM

The Manpower Ministry's statement comes a day after a senior official said a "majority" of workers at Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory had not been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Slightly more than half of migrant workers in Jurong dorm vaccinated or have verified status, says MOM

Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory on Oct 13, 2021. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Fifty-five per cent of the migrant workers at Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory have verified their vaccination status or have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Saturday (Oct 16), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.

The remaining 45 per cent are pending verification or have yet to receive a Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing Procedure (WHO EUL) vaccine, said MOM in a statement on Saturday.

The two PSAR-approved vaccines are the ones made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. These are also among the WHO EUL vaccines, which include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield.

The ministry said that it has been urging employers to ensure the vaccination verification process for migrant workers is "timely". 

"Until the verification process is completed and the vaccination records updated in the National Immunisation Registry, migrant workers will be considered as unvaccinated for Rostered Routine Testing and public health actions."

The verification process, which is needed before an individual can be identified as vaccinated, can take up to several weeks to be completed, MOM added.

"MAJORITY" NOT VACCINATED: SENIOR MOM OFFICIAL ON FRIDAY

The ministry's statement comes a day after chief of MOM's Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group Tung Yui Fai spoke about the vaccination status of workers at Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory in remarks provided to the media after a visit to the dormitory, which is located in Jurong.

"Majority have not been vaccinated. We are working with the employer to encourage them to be vaccinated either with our national vaccines for the best protection, but if they wish, with a vaccine that they accept," Mr Tung said on Friday.

He also said MOM had deployed "insufficient resources" for an "unexpected" increase in COVID-19 cases at the dormitory. 

"This was due to a mandatory routine mass testing exercise by an employer on their workforce residing at the dormitory."

ALL 1,400 SEMBCORP MARINE WORKERS VACCINATED: COMPANY

In a separate statement on Saturday, Sembcorp Marine said about 1,400 of its workers are currently residing in Westlite Jalan Tukang Dormitory, which at the moment houses 2,800 workers. 

All 1,400 workers were vaccinated in their home country prior to their arrival in Singapore, said the company.

"Sembcorp Marine would like to state that, as its 1,400 workers at Tukang Dorm were recent arrivals, their vaccination verification process is ongoing," it added. 

As of Oct 16, about 43 per cent of the 1,400 workers have had their vaccination status records updated in the National Immunisation Registry, said Sembcorp Marine. Of the 1,400 workers, 56 per cent have undergone serology tests. 

Under Singapore's current health protocols, people, including migrant workers, who received their COVID-19 vaccination overseas are also required to provide a positive serology test result from an approved medical provider in the country, as part of the verification process. 

"The company is working with the Singapore authorities to progress the remaining workers through the verification process," said Sembcorp Marine. 

Vaccination will also be available for workers whose serology tests do not meet the criteria for registration in the National Immunisation Registry. The workers will be allowed their choice of vaccines, including Sinovac and Sinopharm. 

Sembcorp Marine said it is also "actively engaging" its workforce to explain to them Singapore's vaccination registration process and public health protocols. 

"Sembcorp Marine remains fully committed to looking after the health, safety and living environment of its workforce," said the company.

In its statement on Saturday, MOM said that those who have received their COVID-19 vaccination overseas, including migrant workers, are required to undergo a verification process of their vaccination status in Singapore after they enter.

"This process requires individuals to show documentary proof of their overseas vaccination, and a positive serology test result from an approved medical provider in Singapore."

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or WHO EUL vaccines. 

Individuals can have their vaccination records updated in the National Immunisation Registry once their vaccination status is verified, said MOM, adding that the vaccinated status will be reflected on the TraceTogether App.

MOM said that it will continue to work with employers on the vaccination verification process.

"We also continue to offer the vaccinations available in Singapore to migrant workers, and strongly encourage them to accept vaccination if they are unvaccinated."

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Source: CNA/ng

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