WHO, along with partners, is asking for seafarers and aircrew to be considered as ‘essential workers’ and to be prioritized for vaccination along with others in that group.
Maritime and air transport are two central activities to global trade and mobility, and play a vital role in global supply chains and the provision of humanitarian aid. They also play a key role in global socioeconomic recovery. It is estimated that 400 000 seafarers are currently stranded on board commercial vehicles, unable to be repatriated, while a similar number are unable to join the ships to replace them.
National governments will determine which populations should be prioritized for vaccination, based on supplies and their epidemiological situation. In November 2020, WHO issued the SAGE Prioritization Roadmap to guide countries in this decision- making. According to the roadmap, essential workers outside health and education sectors should be considered for vaccination when there is moderate vaccine availability, enough for 21-50% of the population.
Read the joint statement by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO).