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IMO secretary-general urges priority vaccination for seafarers

PHOTO: IMO CRUISE_Kitack_Lim.jpg
The key worker designation should ensure seafarers and maritime workers receive priority vaccination, to allow them to work and maintain vital global supply chains, Kitack Lim said
Welcoming the United Nations General Assembly's call for seafarer key worker designation and implementation of crew change protocols, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim urged priority vaccination for seafarers.

In a resolution on international cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, adopted Tuesday, the UN recognized the need for an urgent and concrete response from all stakeholders, including the private sector, to resolve the situation of seafarers stranded at sea and/or unable to join ships because of national travel restrictions.

The resolution also encourages governments and relevant stakeholders to implement IMO-recognized protocols to ensure safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, taking into account essential preventive measures by port states against COVID-19.

Vaccination for seafarers

Noting recent positive news regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, Lim said the key worker designation should ensure seafarers and maritime workers receive priority vaccination, to allow them to work and maintain vital global supply chains.

'I hope that the key worker designation will ensure that seafarers can be vaccinated expeditiously. This will go some way to resolving the ongoing crew change crisis,' Lim said.

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