Covid-19 Vaccination for Foreign Seafarers is Available in the USA. True or False?
There has been news that CDC (US Center for Disease Control) authorised Covid-19 vaccination of foreigh seafarers calling to US ports. We have decided to check whether that’s true.
Here are some facts:
The ban on using The Johnson & Johnson or Jansen (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine has been lifted. Along with Pfizer and Moderna it remains the only authorized vaccines in the US.
J&J vaccine is a single-shot remedy, so is the most suitable for maritime professionals who visit US ports for the short time.
P&I Club have approached the US govermets enquiring about availability of J&J vaccine for foreign seafarers.
All doses of vaccines were purchased by the US Government, so there are some regulations guarding Covid-19 vaccination, but there is no unanimity.
Some states authorised providers to administer vaccines for US residents only.
Others, such as New York or Texas, have lifted the residency requirement leaving age restrictions only.
Considering the varied approaches by the states and total absence of any lucid official guidance or plans referring to foreign seafarers, Mrs. Gina Venezia, Standard Club’s General Counsel, states that “local health authorities should be consulted to ensure legitimacy and the permissibility of having a vaccine offered to foreign crewmembers while onboard vessels in US ports.”
In other words, seafarers should check the availability of vaccination in their port of call.
Ship operators are concerned about insurance cases connected with side-effects of the vaccination and crew members must check health requirements with their medical providers.
“The vaccination program in the US is rapidly evolving. The club continues to monitor developments. Members should consult with local port agents and usual club contacts for up-to-date information.” added General Counsel.