International trade association for in-house and third party ship managers InterManager has pledged to source Covid-19 vaccinations for its members’ seafarers.

Mark O’Neil, Intermanager president

InterManager president Mark O’Neil said the organisation is disappointed at the lack of progress of the provision of a vaccination for seafarers.

He said “the international efforts have not been sufficient in recognising the importance of the vaccination of seafarers, 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”.

InterManager commented that although the United Nations has designated seafarers as essential workers, only 58 countries have followed this directive. In addition, vast numbers of seafarers originate from developing countries where the vaccine rollout programmes are limited.

O’Neil added: “The IMO is hampered by having to negotiate through the United Nations, World Health Organization and others. Sitting back and waiting for these bureaucratic institutions is only part of the solution.

“The world’s seafarers need our help and as ship and crew managers we must work together to do all we can to ensure that their lives and livelihoods are protected.”