Letter of the week: Vaccinate caregiver maids at same time as their elderly employers, Forum News & Top Stories

I wish to respond to the article on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) urging maids to stay home on their rest days (MOM urges maids to stay at home on their rest days, April 22).

My husband and I are seniors aged 81 and 76 with chronic diseases.

We have both received our first dose of the vaccine while our 36-year-old maid, who is our caregiver, has not.

Starting a few weeks ago, we have stopped our maid from shopping and doing errands, to be on the safe side, and also because she had not been scheduled for her shots.

I registered her several days ago in response to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) invitation for maids to be vaccinated, and am waiting for her appointment date.

For Hari Raya, I drove her to her agent’s apartment in Bishan to celebrate Hari Raya there with a friend, and also drove her back to our home in the East Coast area. We did not want to expose her to public transport and to too many friends.

I have written and spoken to MOH about allowing maids who are caregivers of seniors to be vaccinated at the same time as their vulnerable employers, but have not received a response.

I have been the one running around for necessities, putting myself at risk of exposure to the virus, while she is safely protected at home.

My husband is a stroke victim.

Surely, if seniors are prioritised for vaccination, helpers and maids caring for them should be given the same dates for vaccination, especially if they are the only ones living with the seniors.

There are many digitally illiterate seniors like us who can’t order goods online, and need to physically go out for necessities. They face the same problem.

When can our caregivers be protected to protect us?

Shelley Siu

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