USA: COVID-19 Vaccine Availability for Seafarers in US Ports
As a signatory to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing, NAMMA supports all efforts to “recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines.” At this time, local seafarers’ welfare organizations in ports around the United States and other countries are facilitating vaccines for foreign seafarers. Where it is possible, seafarers are being taken to local pharmacies and local health providers, and in other places, there is also the possibility of health officials coming to the ship to vaccinate crew.
Shipping companies or agents might wish to find out more about vaccine availability in their local setting. Pharmacies and other health care providers have been ready to welcome foreign seafarers in certain ports, but there are differences on what ID is required and whether appointments are needed.
At this time, a number of NAMMA members and partners in ports around the United States are facilitating vaccines for foreign seafarers, at local pharmacies and health providers where it is possible. In certain places, seafarers’ centers are facilitating health officials coming on board to vaccinate the crew.
NAMMA Executive Director Dr. Jason Zuidema noted, “Since the start of the pandemic, seafarers’ welfare providers have felt powerless to help seafarers stuck on their ships without shore leave or crew changes. It is a tremendous encouragement at this challenging time to directly respond to seafarers’ need for connection with vaccine providers.”
Sharing it with others interested in helping vaccinate seafarers and sending in new and updated information are also more than welcome. NAMMA is thankful for the help of the Center for Violence Protection at UTMB Health, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and the Center for Mariner Advocacy of the Seamen’s Church Institute. NAMMA welcomes any other partnerships that might help facilitate seafarers receiving vaccines.
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