Vaccinations for seafarers will pose significant challenges

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Vaccinations for seafarers will pose significant challenges

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued a news release seeking prioritizations of seafarers for COVID-19 vaccinations as the lack of access to vaccinations for seafarers is placing shipping in a “legal minefield,” leaving global supply chains vulnerable.  As vaccinations could soon be a compulsory requirement for work at sea and a pre-condition for entering ports, reports estimate that developing nations will not achieve mass immunization until 2024, with some 90% of people in 67 low-income countries standing little chance of vaccination in 2021. ICS calculates that 900,000 of the world’s seafarers (well over half the global workforce) are from developing nations.  Delays into ports caused by unvaccinated crew would open up legal liabilities and costs for owners, which would not be recoverable from charterers. Furthermore, while owners would be able to address the need for seafarer vaccines in new contracts, owners attempting to change existing contracts or asking crew to receive a specific vaccine requested by a port could open themselves up to legal liabilities.

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