The Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Maritime World

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The Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Maritime World

The maritime industry is essential for the protection of global economic recovery. As the COVID-19 vaccine availability has now become a reality, it is imperative that the maritime industries’ workers be prioritized for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

Workers and industries globally are lobbying and working to ensure that their essential workers receive priority in the vaccination administration to mitigate risk and loss of lives from exposure to the coronavirus. The urgency for vaccination cannot be understated in the shipping industry as months of being stranded at sea is affecting the health and wellbeing of the maritime workers who face this exhausting struggle daily.

Supply Chains Workers are Essential

The trade association INTERCARGO, part of a vaccination task force, issued a statement saying “..it is paramount that authorities give priority to seafarers in their vaccination programmes.”

The shipping industry’s vastness and importance as being front-line is often overlooked and undermeasured. Supply chains of essential items that are transported by ships are imperative to not only a global financial recovery, but for human survival itself. Around 80% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, which moves the world’s food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components. In the absence of healthy supply chain workers, there is no cargo moving, no goods in stores, and no food on shelves. The global force that is the maritime sector and its workers is critical to restoration of the post-pandemic global economy.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability and Administration

Pfizer and Moderna are the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the two most prominent COVID-19 vaccines available as of early 2021. Each currently require two doses of the vaccine. Pfizer states its vaccine dosages should be administered 21 days after the initial inoculative dose. Slightly varied is the second dose of Moderna’s vaccine that is intended be given 28 days after the first dose. Other two-dose vaccines that are currently available are CanSino, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac, AstraZeneca, and NovaVax.

As more data about the efficacy of the vaccine and any possible complications becomes available, guiding officials are learning more about efficacy of a one-dose vaccine. Newer versions requiring one shot from Johnson & Johnson are now available.

Obstacles to Vaccine Administration

The operational hurdle of administering the COVID-19 vaccine is monumental. People need to be scheduled and monitored carefully since there is a narrow time frame and no margin for error in this lifesaving effort. Pulling into port just weeks after departing to administer the vaccine is necessary as the need to protect the vaccine from temperature variation and storage capabilities on board.

Critical Components to COVID-19 Maritime Vaccination Success

Seafarers should be included immediately in a COVID-19 vaccination program. In order to effectively restore the post pandemic global economy, mariners must be vaccinated quickly and efficiently to allow travel between ports and homes and reduce risks of infection. Significant impacts to the shipping industry have transpired due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing effects of the crisis are ongoing. Without a rigorously planned and implemented COVID-19 maritime vaccination program, unnecessary loss of lives will occur, and the future of the global supply chain will continue to be threatened due to the effects of the destructive virus.  Now, more than ever in history, it is essential that we recognize seafarers as some of our most essential workers and give them priority access to COVID-19 vaccines

While the industry waits for the rollout of the vaccine among its seafarers, VIKAND provides COVID-19 testing solutions to keep crew safe and healthy. Find the best test kit that fits your needs today!