InterManager negotiates 1m J&J Covid-19 shots for crews, but needs govt authorization

InterManager, the association for third-party ship managers which said on April 27th that it would pursue its own path in an attempt to ensure that crew members on the vessels its members managed were able to get vaccinated against Covid-19, has negotiated with Johnson & Johnson for an in-principle order for a million single-shot Covid-19 vaccine doses for seafarers, at a reduced rate.

Because of the long periods at sea between port calls, shipping has been seeking one-dose Covid-19 solutions such as Johnson & Johnson’s.

Now, in order to place and receive the $22m order, InterManager needs to work with a recognized governmental body, as required by current international law.

InterManager said that it was speaking with the UK and Cypriot governments and had others in line too, but so far its efforts had not borne fruit.

Mark O’Neil , InterManager president and Columbia Shipmanagement CEO, said that “I tear my hair out as to why we can’t get a single government body to authorize this. We could have these vaccines in a pretty short time frame.” O’Neil has urged all ship managers to use their contacts to find a suitable government body to act as a conduit.

O’Neil warned that “if we miss this opportunity then we’ll be kicking ourselves in a few months’ time when some vessels come to a grinding halt because we don’t have vaccinated seafarers.”

InterManager also reported to its members that Poland and the Netherlands have joined the US and Russia in beginning to vaccinate seafarers. It said that progress was being made in support of seafarers in Belgium, Romania and Denmark.