Atlantic Europe ports offer free vaccinations for crew
The idea, says Kamjunke, is “to spread good news where there is some” as the industry gets back on its feet again.
Bordeaux, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, La Rochelle, Le Havre, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Lisbon are all offering this service. Leixoes is offering vaccinations for Portuguese seafarers only.
In Le Havre the first vaccinations started in early September. In a joint effort the Seafarers Welfare Association, the Propeller Club and Rotary Club worked with the harbour master’s office and health administration to build a protocol to inform seafarers, whatever their nationalities or their ship’s flag, that they could be vaccinated if they wished at no cost.
Prior to vaccination, as with the local population, the seafarers need to fill in a questionnaire on health background which is available in 24 languages.
Conan says: “We have no accurate statistics on the number of seafarers who benefited from the vaccinations in our port, probably a few dozen each week.” These were conducted at the nearby vaccination centre Oceane by doctors, volunteers and members of the Rotary Club. The vaccination used in France is Pfizer. Adding: “The good health of seafarers is a basic condition to guarantee world maritime exchanges on our planet.”
In Bremerhaven, the Seafarers Missions together with German Red Cross, is offering the service onboard (pictured). Seafarers, from countries such as Malaysia, are particularly grateful for the opportunity to have the all-in-one Janssen vaccination which they are unable to get at home. Most recently seafarers on Phoenix Reisen’s Artania were vaccinated this weekend.
Further south in Lisbon, Ana Lourenco of the Cruise and Mega Yacht Department at the Port of Lisbon, explains: “We have had requests for crew vaccinations in Lisbon and have managed to accommodate some vessels requiring this.
“The procedure has been for the port agent to send the Maritime Health Authority a written request with the ship’s time of arrival and departure, together with a list of crew members requiring vaccinations, their full names, dates of birth, nationality, the first vaccine administered and the date of this. In the case of unvaccinated crew, some vessels have requested that crew members be administered the Janssen vaccine.”
All requests are analysed by the international health authority which advises the port agent if this is possible, and when and where the crew members should be transported in order to be vaccinated. This has been the closest open booking vaccination centre to the cruise terminal. So far the process has worked well.
Lourenco comments: “So far the process has worked well. The requests are being analysed on a case by case basis but it is happening.”