Health officials in the Province of British Columbia have recognized the urgency in immunizing international seafarers for COVID-19 and are supporting the federal government’s commitment and industry’s efforts in making this possible by making doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to international seafarers. (Note the Province does not have the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available.)
On the west coast there are four health authorities – Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, Northern Health and Vancouver Island Health – and we are working with each of the health authorities to determine if vaccinations can be administered on board the vessels or at the terminals. As delivering vaccines to the vessels will take some time to coordinate, we encourage seafarers to take advantage of the mass vaccination clinics before they start winding down as early as next week. Our efforts include ensuring that a process remains in place for seafarers to access the approved vaccines and we anticipate information and availability will change over time, so please ensure you have the most recent guidance.
Steps to immunizing seafarers:
- Ship agents are asked to call 1-604-630-4063 to speak with a Service BC agent, who will register the seafarers for vaccinations in BC. Before calling, please collect the following demographic information from each seafarer on the vessel who is interested in receiving a vaccination and is not already fully vaccinated:
- Legal first and last name
- Date of birth
- Address information (name of vessel, port location, postal code of port)
The registration process will take approximately 5 minutes per seafarer.
- Once you have received the Provincial Health Number (PHN) for each seafarer to be immunized coordinate with the Master to determine the preferred date and time for the seafarers to attend a clinic. All provincial immunization clinics are open for walk-ins and no appointment is required at this time. For the most update list of available clinics, visit the following pages:
Fraser Health Authority (Burnaby, Delta, Surrey)
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (North Vancouver, Vancouver)
Vancouver Island Health Authority (Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Victoria)
Northern Health Authority (Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Stewart)
- Seafarers taking shore leave must be asymptomatic, i.e. presumed non-COVID-19 carrying, and follow the guidelines contained in Transport Canada’s Ship Safety Bulletin 11/2021. If seafarers are leaving the vessel to attend a clinic outside of the terminal, then the agent must submit to the local CBSA office the Travellers Contact Information form as required by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for each seafarer.
- As noted in the Ship Safety Bulletin 11/2021 seafarers are required to follow the marine facility-specific COVID-19 protocols and the PHAC recommendations, including wearing a mask, maintaining proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cough/sneeze etiquette, and minimize contact with local workers.
- Bring to the clinic a copy of the Travellers Contact Information form, the Provincial Health Number (PHN) issued, and identification for each seafarer to be immunized.
As additional services become available, the specific information for each region will be updated below:
NORTHERN – Prince Rupert
In Prince Rupert the clinic is only open for vaccinations on Fridays currently (subject to change).
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is available to assist with transporting crew members to and from vessels at anchor to shore where the Northern Health clinic is located within a short walking distance. To arrange for transportation by water, contact the PRPA’s Port Security Operations Centre at: 1-250-627-2522.
Transport from the marine facilities can be arranged via the ship’s agent:
The CORE Space (next to the Health Centre)
Location: 378 3rd Avenue
Prince Rupert, BC
Hours: 9am to 4pm Friday only
Booking: Call ahead for 12+ appointments only
For the most up to date information, visit our website our COVID-19 page at: https://shippingmatters.ca/blog/covid-19/