Vaccination of Seafarers and Frequently Asked Questions
12 July 2021
The hyperlink below to the IG Document “Vaccination of Seafarers, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) relating to P&I Club Cover” has been produced by the thirteen Clubs which are Members of the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG).
As it becomes increasingly easier to vaccinate seafarers overseas so it is important to coordinate those vaccinations with the vessel’s local agents who ought to liaise with approved medical service providers so as to establish a vaccination plan for the vessel in compliance with the local regulations and protocols. Though the vaccination programme remains an operational matter, Shipowners may wish to liaise with the Club’s local Correspondent for guidance.
A question frequently asked refers to the documentation the Shipowner and seafarer are required to provide. Since the Shipowner is simply facilitating the opportunity to be vaccinated, a letter of indemnity is considered unnecessary. If deemed appropriate, a simple acknowledgment of the facilitation would be sufficient. Shipowners though should seek their own legal advice on this point in the applicable jurisdiction.
The vaccine administrator might require a letter of consent in order to vaccinate the seafarer and this might include a declaration that the seafarer has been fully briefed, including having any questions satisfactorily answered and an acknowledgement of the risks involved. In addition, Shipowners may wish to make translation/interpretation services available so that a seafarer can communicate accurately in respect of any previous health issues and the hyperlink to the IG Document provides a link to multilingual COVID-19 resources which may be useful to seafarers.
The IG Personal Injury Committee have been collaborating with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and will continue to support and cooperate in the revision of the publication on "Coronavirus (COVID-19): Legal, Liability and Insurance Issues arising from Vaccination of Seafarers".