87% OF SEAFARERS ARE STILL WAITING TO GET THEIR FIRST COVID-19 VACCINE SHOT

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-Survey shows 87% of seafarers waiting to get their first Covid-19 vaccine shot.
-Survey was conducted by the BMA and researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
-Slow pace of vaccinations among seafarers creating frustration for the maritime industry

Just 13% of seafarers have received their first vaccine shot, says an article published in Seatrade maritime news.

•Seafarers are being ignored

A welfare survey which was conducted by the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) shows that 87% of seafarers are still waiting to receive their first Covid-19 vaccine shot and only 13% of seafarers have received a vaccine shot despite the frontline and international nature of the job. The figures which were showcased are based on the first result of the survey conducted by the BMA and researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health, and the BMA said the survey had received a high level of support from maritime organisations and seafarers.

•Tough time for seafarers

BMA in the official statement said that of the respondents which they interviewed to date, 86% of seafarers were willing to have the vaccine if offered and 65% said they would feel safer if they had been vaccinated. They added that initial results show more than half of those who have been at sea during the pandemic had been impacted in terms of shore leave and ability to get on or off the vessel.

•The frustrated maritime industry

The slow pace of vaccinations among seafarers is a source of frustration for the maritime industry. Many seafarers come from countries where vaccination programs have been slow to get off the ground, and coordinated international efforts are also yet to bear fruit. Major ships are trying to procure vaccines. Some major ship managers have taken to procuring vaccines privately. Ship manager’s association Inter manager has sourced 1 million shots of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine but is having difficulty finding a government authority to help it to complete the purchase. Some US states are now offering single-shot vaccinations to international seafarers, while China is offering vaccinations to its seafarers at 11 Chinese ports.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News