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.