A global organisation dedicated to representing the ship management industry has vowed to take it into their own hands to ensure that the more than half a million seafarers receive their Covid-19 vaccinations sooner rather than later.
“Global organisations have talked their way round in circles, and still we are no further forward in providing a vaccination programme for seafarers who are vital in ensuring that world trade and aid continues to be delivered,” said InterCargo president Mark O’Neil. “We will now work on sourcing vaccinations separately through legitimate channels to enable our members to vaccinate their seafarers as soon as possible and to support others within the maritime industry to do the same.”
The United Nations has designated seafarers as “essential workers” but so far only 58 countries have followed this directive and are prioritising seafarers to enable them to travel to and from vessels. In addition, vast numbers of seafarers originate from developing countries where the official rollout of vaccinations is hampered by availability, thus compounding the problem.
O’Neil stressed that InterManager would continue to collaborate and give full support to the International Maritime Organization and fellow shipping industry NGOs in sourcing vaccinations for seafarers.