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UN calls for seafarers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccinations

UN calls for seafarers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccinations

Seafarers must be given priority for Covid-19 vaccines, according to a joint statement signed by the heads of five United Nations bodies on Friday.

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“ICS and other organisations have been lobbying hard to get this recognition for seafarers and we urge governments across the globe to heed the call from the United Nations and recognise the fact that successful vaccination programmes will rely on those hidden heroes who deliver the vaccines and PPE around the world. Seafarers are a vital part of the vaccine roll out and need to be vaccinated themselves, and not forgotten,” stated Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping.

The World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and other United Nations bodies are encouraging all member states to make seafarers and aircrew a priority in their national Covid-19 vaccination programs.

Member states were urged to take immediate action to address this issue, working with their health, immigration, border control, and maritime authorities on a national and local level to help the seafarers that the world requires to recover from Covid-19.

The joint statement of the UN bodies also acknowledged the need for an interoperable global system of Covid certificates to enable seafarers to continue crossing borders on a daily basis.

Maritime Business World 

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