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Port of Port Arthur takes vaccinations from land to sea

The Port Arthur Health Department, Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center and Port of Port Arthur are collaborating to reach a specific demographic that keeps the economy rolling in Southeast Texas: the seafarers.

International seafarers hold up Port of Port Arthur T-shirts after receiving vaccinations locally. (Courtesy photo)

In the United States, where COVID-19 vaccines have reached wide availability, an increasing number of health organizations and port authorities are working with maritime organizations such as Port Arthur International Seafarer’s Center to inoculate crews while their ships are in ports.

Doreen Badeaux, of the Apostleship of the Sea-USA, is advocating for seafarers at multiple terminals in the area. It takes several partners to make this happen.

The crew of a cargo vessel at the Port of Port Arthur was vaccinated Friday before heading to South America with U.S.-produced cargo.

The Port Arthur Health Department’s Strike Team vaccinated 22 seafarers from India.

The Port of Port Arthur is one of the first maritime facilities to provide this service to a crew.

“Since the COVID outbreak there are still some seafarers that have yet to return home,” Port Director/CEO Larry Kelley said. “Seafarers move the things that matter to us: energy, lumber, the food we eat and the cars we drive. Hopefully, the crew change issue will come to an end soon by nations ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines for seafarers. Our local efforts affect the world and based on availability, the vaccinations for seafarers will continue.”