Denmark starts offering vaccines to seafarers

The Danish government has just announced that it will start offering vaccines for seafarers calling Danish ports or transiting Danish airports, becoming the latest European nation to prioritise seafarers of all nationalities for a Covid jab. Denmark will be offering one-shot Johnson & Johnson jabs.

Commenting on the news, Jacob Meldgaard, the CEO of Danish shipowner Torm, said: “Offering Covid-19 vaccines for seafarers is immensely important, as it enables them to sign on vessels anywhere in the world. Many seafarers are from countries where vaccines are still in short supply, so this is indeed an important step for shipping – and a natural one for a seafaring nation like Denmark.”

Less than one in five seafarers are fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by leading shipmanagers earlier this month.

Writing for Splash earlier this month, Steven Jones, the compiler of the Seafarers Happiness Index, discussed the urgent need to step up the global vaccine campaign for seafarers.

“More work, longer hours, lengthening tours of duty, have eroded any sense of goodwill. The message from seafarers is of the pressing need to make life better. We all believe that seafarers are key workers and essential, but we need to start treating them so. Patience at sea is running out,” Jones warned.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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