Crew Vaccinations and Stats Finally Trending Positively


Finally, vaccination rates among seafarers appear to be accelerating, according to the Global Maritime Forum. In its latest update to the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator, there also now is a continuing positive trend on the issues of crew change. These findings, based on data compiled by the largest ship managers, show that the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiration of their contract has decreased from 8.9 to 7.9 percent, while seafarers onboard vessels for over 11 months has decreased from 1.2 to 1.0 percent.

For seafarer vaccination rates, the percentage increased in the past month from 21.9 to 31.1 percent of seafarers reporting completed vaccination. Though this positive trend suggests increasing access to the vaccine, these statistics sadly lag far behind the rates of many other large ship-owning nations.

“It is encouraging to see the vaccination rate for seafarers going up and the number of seafarers onboard their vessels beyond the expiry of contracts is decreasing slightly,” reported Kasper Søgaard, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Strategy and Development, Global Maritime Forum. However, he added that “lockdowns, flight cancellations, and travel restrictions persist, thus posing continued challenges to crew changes globally.”

Though the global shipping industry still faces many challenges to maintaining ship operations as the pandemic continues, some new developments have been encouraging. For example, the Singapore Shipping Association, in collaboration with PSA and the Fullerton Health Group, has created a seafarers’ vaccination (SEAVAX) center in Singapore. The project expands on an earlier trial program, to include administering vaccines to seafarers beginning with those signing-on as new crew arriving in Singapore. Meanwhile, other efforts in Europe, North America and Asia also continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for crew members when their ships arrive in port.

We at the Herd Law Firm are proud to represent seafarers, seamen and merchant mariners, and others who gain their livelihoods from work on commercial waters, as well as passengers aboard such ships, oil rigs and other watercraft. We recognize that such mariners often go into harm’s way, with sailing during the era of COVID being but the most recent example.

If you or a loved one has been injured or become ill while in the service of, or aboard, such a commercial maritime locale, we would be pleased to discuss your rights and remedies with you.

Meanwhile, stay safe out there!

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If you or someone that you know has contracted COVID-19 while on board a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation. If so, call the law offices of the Herd Law Firm, PLLC for a risk-free evaluation of your potential case.

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