InterManager closes deal on 1 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines, seeks government approval.
InterManager, the association of third-party managers, has made good on its promise late last month to solve the conundrum of how to vaccinate the world’s seafarers. Frustrated by the lack of international coordination and progress in vaccinating seafarers with Covid-19 vaccines, the association’s managers said they would go their own way in vaccinating crews.
InterManager revealed this week that it has successfully negotiated with Johnson & Johnson and secured an order in principle for 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for seafarers at a reduced price.
Given the long periods at sea between port calls, shipping has been looking for single-dose Covid-19 solutions like Johnson & Johnson’s.
Now, to place and receive the $22 million order, InterManager needs to work with a recognized government agency in accordance with current international law.
InterManager is talking to the UK and Cyprus governments, and has others on the line, but so far its efforts have been in vain.
Mark O’Neil , president of InterManager and CEO of Columbia Shipmanagement, commented, “I’m tearing my hair out at why we can’t get a single government body to authorize it. We could have these vaccines in no time.”
O’Neil urges all ship managers to use their contacts to find a suitable government agency to act as a conduit.
Inaction could have consequences, O’Neil warned, saying, “If we miss this opportunity, we will be kicking ourselves in a few months when some ships are detained for not having vaccinated seafarers.”
InterManager also informed its members that Poland and the Netherlands have joined the United States and Russia in starting to vaccinate seafarers and that support for seafarers in Belgium, Romania and Denmark is moving forward.