BMA: 87 per cent of seafarers still to receive a first vaccine

According to the Seafarer Covid-19 Welfare Survey by the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) 87 per cent of seafarers are still waiting for a jab. Of the respondents to date, 86 per cent would be willing to have the vaccine if offered and 65 per cent would feel safer if they had been vaccinated.

Initial results also show that more than half of those who have been at sea during the pandemic have been impacted in terms of shore leave and ability to get on or off the vessel. More responses are still coming in on a daily basis.

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

The survey is supported by international shipping organisations from government bodies, institutes, owners and operators, charitable bodies to other ship registries and a number of major maritime companies. The aim of the survey is to accurately collect information from front-line seafarers (who will remain anonymous throughout), specifically focusing on their mental health needs before and during the pandemic. The data collected will be analysed and used to understand the challenges seafarers experienced in order to develop effective solutions that raise awareness and guide international efforts to improve seafarer wellbeing.

Tom Jenkins, Deputy Director and Head of The BMA’s Investigations Department, was responsible for implementing the survey. ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, and we would like to ensure that every seafarer has the opportunity to express their thoughts about how they have been affected. The results of the survey will help the industry to formulate the support identified as necessary by seafarers themselves.’

The survey is still available through the BMA website.

Also read: UN organisations: Prioritise seafarers and aircrew for Covid-19 vaccination

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.