ICAO joins the UN call for priority vaccination of crews

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ICAO joins the UN call for priority vaccination of crews
Mon March 29, 2021

“The implementation of current WHO recommendations is of paramount importance for the continued and optimal operation of the international civil aviation network and, therefore, for the global transport of essential cargo and workers,” stated Dr. Liu.


ICAO joined four other UN agencies today in calling on countries to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for aircrew and seafarers. 

In addition to the ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, the Special Joint Declaration was signed by the heads of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

"The implementation of current WHO recommendations is of paramount importance for the continued and optimal operation of the international civil aviation network and therefore for the global transport of essential cargo and workers," stated Dr. Liu. 

The Joint Statement highlights WHO advice that countries should not currently introduce proof of vaccination requirements for international travel as a condition of entry, given critical unknowns about the effectiveness of vaccination to reduce transmission and limited availability. world vaccine dose. 

It also emphasizes that maritime and air transport are essential activities underpinning global trade and mobility, and key to a sustainable socio-economic recovery, and highlights the full joint support of participating agencies for the timely development of a harmonized international framework for vaccination certificates to facilitate international travel for seafarers and aircrew. 

"As the Joint Statement draws attention, the application of strict public health standards to these key workers, including quarantine, has resulted in limited connectivity, operational complexity, and significant costs," said Dr. Liu. 

"The statement also calls on governments to prioritize seafarers and aircrew in their national COVID-19 vaccination programs, along with other essential workers, in line with the WHO SAGE Roadmap to prioritize the use of COVID-19 vaccines ". 

The total number of pre-pandemic licensed aviation professionals, including pilots, air traffic controllers and licensed maintenance technicians, was 887,000 according to ICAO statistics. Air transport carried around 5.7 billion passengers in 2019, and pre-pandemic air cargo accounted for 35% of the value of goods shipped across all modes combined.

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