SLOW ROLLOUT OF COVID-19 VACCINES FOR SEAFARERS RISKS SHIPPING CRISIS

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A slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for seafarers is proving problematic for the beleaguered shipping industry
ICS estimates only 35,000-40,000 seafarers are vaccinated – 2.5% of the global pool of maritime workers
Global shipping crisis and labor shortages may get worse because of the slow vaccine rollout for seafarers, says an article on Business Insider.

•Slow vaccine rollout

When outbreaks occur on ships it can endanger marine works and cause further disruption to trade, Bloomberg reported. Despite efforts to vaccinate seafarers in ports, most are still largely dependent on their home countries to be vaccinated and more than half of the 1.6 million maritime workers globally come from developing countries such as India, the Philippines, or Indonesia.

ICS estimates only 35,000-40,000 seafarers are vaccinated – 2.5% of the global pool of maritime workers. “Supply chains are already stretched from a robust bounce back in consumer demand, semiconductor shortages, and shipping difficulties such as the Suez Canal blockage and Chinese port closures,” Tom Fairbairn, a shipping expert, told Insider.

According to the WHO, more than 80% of global trade by volume is moved by maritime transport. The global economy depends on the world’s two million seafarers who operate the global fleet of merchant ships.

Source: Business Insider