Nationwide seafarer vaccination programme launches in India

India’s Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) on Monday said it will launch a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive in association with various maritime bodies to inoculate Indian seafarers free of cost in the months to come.

“We will kickstart our Covid vaccination initiative from June 10 onwards and aim to inoculate at least 10,000 Indian seafarers with Covishield doses in Mumbai within a fortnight,” said Shiv Halbe the CEO of MASSA.

After a statutory period of 84 days, the second dose of Covishield will be administered free of cost to seafarers.

Indian seafarers have watched on as many other nations have prioritised vaccinating sea-going professionals, most notably in China. Indian crewing experts have been urging New Delhi to get the nation’s seafarers jabbed quicker or else risk losing their status as one of the world’s top providers of crew to the international merchant fleet.

Many nations around the world have banned ships with recent calls – or staff boarded recently – from India as the nation battles a nasty strain of the virus.

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. If MASSA really worried about to get the nation’s seafarers jabbed quicker or else risk losing their status as one of the world’s top providers of crew to the international merchant 1fleet.
    They must think about 2nd dose to reduce the time between 1st and 2nd dose. No need to provide free they can pay, it’s not a big amount.

    1. Exactly. Everyone knows the 84 days time interval is just a ploy because of scarcity of vaccines. Contracts are getting canceled because this random change in time interval which was 6 weeks previously.

  2. Wonder if you are Captain at all . And done anything other than using the paper at mouth of canal where sun doesn’t shine. Now shove it where it does !

  3. Dear sir, kindly arrange the 2nd dose no need to wait for 84 days if govt keep changing the time period most of the seaman will come in trouble..once I took that time they never announced 84 days after 10days they said 84days.. please don’t play with seaman career as we are facing a lots of financial problems..plz reduce the timing ..we are not able to join the ship because of govt time period.please think it.

  4. On behalf of all indian seafarers I kindly plead you to please respond to our request to reduce the gap of second dose of covisheild to 4 to 6 weeks as we are loosing our jobs to other nationalities and loosing our contracts to. When we had 1st dose of vaccine that time duration between 2 doses 4 to 6 weeks. It’s not fair to do this changes last minute. We are at home more than a year without salary. We need vaccines Asap

  5. Instead of this nonsense these seafarers bodies should listen to what the seafarers actually want & that is reduction in the time interval between 2 doses. I know of several people whose contracts were canceled after they took the first dose because the time interval of second dose was changed from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.

  6. The time interval between 1st and 2nd doses should be reduced, otherwise there is no meaning in a separate vaccination drive for seafarers on completion of 84 days, since after the statutory period, anyone can get vaccinated in their hometown itself. If this has to really serve the purpose of seafarers, then anyone completed 28 days after the 1st dose, should be eligible for the 2nd dose. Therefore humbly request DG Shipping to please facilitate administration of the 2nd dose to any seafarer, who has completed 28 days after the 1st dose. And definitely, this can be made chargeable.

  7. Does this make any sense, for vaccine registration this people ask for joining letter in 60 days priority, if I am about to joint the ship on 15 August 2021, then I will get permission to take vaccine on 14 of June 2021, i.e. 60 days before joining. And this this people will give the second dose date between 10-15 September. Now tell me how can u act like this. Do you want was to loose the joining and sit back home.

  8. Dont talk on political ground be practical the whole is mocking at india just because of thier incapability to vaccine anf and second dose gap just hide the shortage and poltical war between the poltical parties on how generate money to back their poltical expanses to get vote . They dont care about people all they care is abt power they are worst enemies within our boundries .

  9. Incredible the amount of antivaxers who make their argument against vaccinating claiming it is untested despite hundreds of million vaccinations having been given world wide with almost no side effect (unless you count immunisation from Covid). In fact the only equivalent of untested there is, is the statement that the vaccines are untested. If you are a trading captain, I feel so very sorry for any crew who have to serve under you.

    I suggest anyone swayed by the above argument should look up some figures themselves. At the present point in excess of 2% of those infected have died. And when you consider the world population is 7.87 billion then 2% death rate would mean 157 million fatalities. In addition if you look at India (which is what sparked your message) only 6% of those infected have recovered so far in other words at this stage neither you nor anyone else knows if the death rate will be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6%.

    Discouraging others or not accepting vaccination is murder in a roundabout way. I hope in the long run you will be able to live with what you have done.

    I congratulate MASSA for all the work they are doing in this respect, and just hope they will find a way to speed it all up some.

  10. Captain, I would like to see what happens when your company asks for vaccination report for you to join back on the vessel

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