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Importance of Covid-19 vaccination to the offshore diving community stressed

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Importance of Covid-19 vaccination to the offshore diving community stressed

Allen Leatt, IMCA’s CEO

The Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC) has issued new a position statement on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for offshore divers

DMAC’s statement at www.dmac-diving.org/guidance/DMAC-Statement-202110.pdf makes it clear that the known risks of COVID-19 illness and its related, possibly severe complications, far outweigh the potential risks of having an extremely rare serious adverse reaction to vaccination. DMAC strongly recommends that offshore divers and diving personnel follow national recommendations for primary vaccinations and booster doses; and that: “diving contractors wishing to control risks as far as reasonably practicable should take account of this, within the applicable legislative framework”.

IMCA’s CEO Allen Leatt, noted:

During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic IMCA and DMAC have worked together to produce high-quality guidance which, it would appear, has so far played in important part in keeping divers and DSV crew safe. We welcome DMAC’s statement, which looks at the reasons why, for offshore divers, COVID-19 is of special concern and may cause career limiting health effects.

“We fully support DMAC’s position and urge all offshore divers and diving personnel to be vaccinated.”

Other concerns detailed in the DMAC statement include the complex issue of handling a severe case of COVID-19 in a saturation chamber; the long term effects of the virus which may influence the diver’s fitness to ever return to work; and possible increased susceptibility to decompression illness.

DMAC is the independent body comprising diving medical specialists from across Northern Europe. Its guidance is always based on the latest medical research and on empirical evidence. It is a non-profit organisation; members work on an entirely voluntary basis receiving no payment for their time or contributions to committee proceedings. One of IMCA’s founding bodies, AODC (the Association of Offshore Diving Contractors), was responsible for the formation of DMAC in 1975, and IMCA has continued this working relationship ever since.

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