InterManager seals deal for 1m Johnson & Johnson shots, seeks government approval

InterManager, the association for third party managers, has come good on its vow at the end of last month to solve the riddle of how to vaccine the world’s seafarers. Frustrated with the lack of international coordination and progress to get seafarers jabbed with Covid-19 vaccines, senior management at the association said on April 27 they would pursue their own path to get crews vaccinated.

InterManager revealed this week it has successfully negotiated with Johnson & Johnson and has secured an in-principle order for 1m one-shot Covid-19 vaccine doses for seafarers at a reduced rate.

Given the long periods at sea between port calls, shipping has been seeking one-dose Covid-19 solutions such as Johnson & Johnson’s.

I tear my hair out as to why we can’t get a single government body to authorise this

Now, in order to place and receive the $22m order, InterManager needs to work with a recognised governmental body, in line with current international law.

InterManager is speaking with the UK and Cypriot governments and has others in line too, but so far its efforts have drawn a blank.

Mark O’Neil , InterManager president and Columbia Shipmanagement CEO, commented: “I tear my hair out as to why we can’t get a single government body to authorise this. We could have these vaccines in a pretty short time frame.”

O’Neil is urging all shipmanagers to use their contacts to find a suitable government body to act as a conduit.

Inaction may have consequences, O’Neil warned, saying: “If we miss this opportunity then we’ll be kicking ourselves in a few months’ time when some vessels come to a grinding halt because we don’t have vaccinated seafarers.”

InterManager also reported to its members that Poland and the Netherlands have joined the US and Russia in beginning to vaccinate seafarers and progress is being made in support of seafarers in Belgium, Romania and Denmark.

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.


  1. The UK government’s position on this is beneath contempt. It spends too much time on triumphal grandstanding and its (not the pharmaceutical companies) involvement in containing the virus problem. This is a practical and humanitarian issue. Obviously HMG does not wish to get involved for reasons which are inexplicable.

  2. They want to vaccinate with a medical preparation that is released to the garbage by some countries. Admission is not compulsory because the vaccine is under research and this is a medical experiment. Who will take responsibility xa side effects or death. What if the ships fail because the sailors will not be able to work. Think first, act later. I am waiting for the sailors to revolt and whoever kneels is not a sailor, refuse vaccinations, dear sailors

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