Singapore Airlines to require crew to get flu shot

Singapore Airlines announced it will require its first-class cabin crew members to be vaccinated against influenza in line with new regulations introduced by the World Health Organization.

WHO issued a new immunization rule last July, requiring airline crews to be inoculated against Influenza A (H1N1) influenza virus, also known as swine flu.

The new rule requires crew to receive the vaccine either before or on board international flights as standard practice. However, there is a 30-day rule where crew have to seek the vaccine before departing for another destination, though they can stay within the 30-day window for any stopover.

Swine flu has reportedly affected 172,000 people and killed more than 800 since April 2009.

“Effective July 2010, Singapore Airlines will require all first class cabin crew members to be vaccinated against the Influenza A virus,” the airline said in a statement. “However, it is only after board, on-board duty or at the arrival gates at any airport where we commence international flights that they will be offered the vaccine.”

According to the statement, the crew with immunizations will be able to wear the H1N1 flu jab stickers on their clothing, and members will not be allowed to carry any masks for personal use once the immunizations are administered.

Singapore Airlines is expected to issue vaccination guidelines by the end of the month.

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