A Dutch vaccination programme for seafarers is to start mid-June. All seafarers who work on ships under Dutch flag or management are eligible for this. The Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KNVR) has stated that the vaccinations will enable people to safely continue their work on board sea-going vessels worldwide. It manages the programme.
Under the direction of the RIVM, a study has been conducted over the past few months to determine to what extent seafarers can make use of the regular national vaccination strategy. It turned out that seafarers require a separate approach, among other things because of their work across all borders.
Already since January 2020, seafarers worldwide have been facing considerable challenges in doing their jobs, the KNVR outlines. They often could not be relieved for months at a time. And they are still constantly affected by international travel restrictions that differ from country to country. The fact that seafarers can now be vaccinated, irrespective of their nationality, enables shipping companies, among other things, to comply with their duty of care, the shipowners claim.
Approximately 49,000 Janssen vaccines will be made available in instalments from mid-June. Of these, one vaccination is required. This is important, because seafarers only spend limited time in the Netherlands, namely during leave or to travel home or to a ship.
As all seafarers are never in the Netherlands in one continuous period of time, vaccination will be spread out over the coming months. The KVNR will be playing a central role in the logistic details of the vaccination approach. Vaccination will take place in a number of larger ports and at Schiphol Airport.
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