While vaccination rates have improved, crew change issues persist in some countries
The latest Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator revealed improvements for seafarers despite being caught in the cocktail of vaccination conundrums – several variants and immunity efficacy.
Significant improvements in vaccines
May 2022’s Indicator revealed that the aggregate percentage of seafarers from the sample who have been vaccinated has risen from 72.8 per cent in April to 83.6 per cent in May. The share of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in several large shipping nations in Europe, North America, and Asia is close to or above 70 per cent, so seafarer rates are now at this same level and these numbers have surpassed the rate in Denmark, Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Ship managers have also observed relaxed rules in crew change, notably in Singapore. Additionally, flight availability have also facilitated repatriation, much to the seafarers’ relief. However, the usual challenges persist for unvaccinated seafarers – such as isolation procedures. That could have contributed to the increase in number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract – from 4.2 per cent to 4.5 in the last month. The number of seafarers onboard for over 11 months has declined to 0.3 per cent, suggesting visible stabilising.
With 83.6 per cent of seafarers from the sample being vaccinated, it corresponds to an increase of 6.4 percentage points since April. The data shows that seafarer vaccinations are progressing well with programmes established in numerous countries to offer inoculation to international seafarers. In terms of vaccination rates, this number overtakes that of the European Union at 73 per cent, Hong Kong and Japan at 80, Singapore at 91, the United Kingdom at 74 and the United States with 66.
Crewing Online Media Team
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