The first Covid-19 vaccinations to seafarers of ships flying the Dutch flag were administered on Wednesday in the Port of Rotterdam. Crew of marine contractor Van Oord were the first to be vaccinated. Over the next three months, the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) expects to administer the Janssen vaccine to some 50,000 people.

The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen attended, while the first jabs were administered. The KVNR manages the vaccination process, while service provider Arbo Unie and subsidiary Port Health Centre administer the shots. Seafarers will receive the Janssen vaccine. Because this vaccine requires only one shot, it is most practical for seafarers.

The vaccinations take place on board ships sailing under the Dutch flag in the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen and Vlissingen, and at the Arbo Unie vaccination locations in the immediate vicinity. Seafarers of all nationalities are eligible for this vaccination programme.

Also read: Dutch vaccination programme for seafarers starts mid-June

For seafarers, a separate approach has been developed in the Netherlands to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to this programme, it is hoped they can continue to work safely on board sea-going vessels throughout the world.

Service provider Arbo Unie has been providing maritime care in Dutch ports through its subsidiary Port Health Centre for many years. ‘We are pleased that over the next three months a large number of our doctors and doctors’ assistants will be able to help seafarers to continue their work,’ says Tjeerd van Zadelhoff, Manager Health Services at Arbo Unie.

Also read: UN organisations: Prioritise seafarers and aircrew for Covid-19 vaccination

Picture: A seafarer receiving the Janssen vaccine with Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen on the right (by KVNR).