October 1, 2022

Maritime Today Online

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Seafarer vaccination rates improve but challenges remain

Vaccination coverage among seafarers is improving but the crew change situation remains challenging according to the monthly Neptune Indicator.

The Neptune Indicator, which draws on data from 10 leading ship managers with around 90,000 seafarers onboard, showed an increase 31.1% at the end of September compared 21.9% a month earlier. While it shows vaccine access for seafarers is improving the number lags behind that of many large shipowning nations, the EU and the US.

On the crew change front the number of seafarers’ onboard vessels for over 11 months has slightly decreased from 1.2% to 1.0%, but there was no indication the situation was improving as whole.

“It is encouraging to see the vaccination rate for seafarers going up and the number of seafarers onboard their vessels beyond the expiry of contracts is decreasing slightly. However, lockdowns, flight cancellations, and travel restrictions persist, thus posing continued challenges to crew changes globally,” said Kasper Søgaard, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Strategy and Development, Global Maritime Forum, which compiles the indicator.

It was note that for the second month running ship managers reported a shortage of crew.