Belgium has started vaccinating foreign seafarers who call at its ports. A move long overdue according to Belgium trade union ACV-Transcom. The organisation had been urging the government to roll out a general vaccination strategy for seafarers for a long time.

The trade union states the roll-out for seafarers is necessary given their unique working and especially living conditions. According to the organisation, the Belgian ports had many visits of ships with infected crew members in recent months. This meant ‘pilots, VLOOT personnel, dock workers and Port State Control inspectors were and are exposed to unnecessary risks’, says ACV-Transcom.

The trade union criticises the slow response of the Belgian government, but says it is pleased that after several appeals by the trade union’s Maritime-Air Transport division it has ‘finally realised that vaccinating seafarers, regardless of their nationality, is crucial for world trade and our economy’.

Also read: Dutch vaccination programme for seafarers starts mid-June

Picture by Laurahayes7751.