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InterManager frustration at finding government body to authorise vaccine purchase

Photo: CSM Mark O'Neil CEO of CSM
Mark O'Neil CEO of CSM
InterManager has so far drawn a blank in finding a recognised government body with which it can work to complete a purchase of 1m vaccine shots from Johnson & Johnson for seafarers.

The ship managers association has successfully negotiated with Johnson & Johnson to buy 1m doses of the single shot vaccine at a reduced rate of $22m, however, to place and receive the order requires it to work a recognised government body, a requirement in line with international law.

InterManager is speaking to the UK and Cyrpus governments, as well as others, but has failed to find a partner as yet.

“I tear my hair out as to why we can’t get a single government body to authorise this. We could have these vaccines in a pretty short time frame,” said Mark O’Neil, InterManager President and Columbia Shipmanagement CEO.

He sought the help of ship managers to find a suitable government body that could be used as conduit. “We have to try. Most importantly, this is about the seafarers,” O’Neil stated.

“If we miss this opportunity then we’ll be kicking ourselves in a few months’ time when some vessels come to a grinding halt because we don’t have vaccinated seafarers.”

InterManager moved to source vaccines for seafarers after becoming frustrated with the slow pace of efforts to establish a framework international at the IMO. Many seafarers come from countries where vaccination programmes have been slow. The majority of vaccinations also require two shots adding a logistical complication for seafarers.