Vaccination of seafarers

22 Jul 2021 / Belgium

The Belgian Shipowner Association, the Taskforce Vaccination and the Directorate General Shipping has launched a full scale COVID‐19 vaccination campaign for all seafarers calling with a ship in a Belgian port.

To facilitate the accessibility of the seafarers to the vaccination campaign, mobile medical vaccination teams will be sent to ships at berth, to provide the vaccinations directly on board. The mobile medical vaccination teams will operate from two maritime medical centers in Antwerp and Zeebrugge, covering the ports of Antwerp, Ghent and Zeebrugge.

The vaccine provided will be the Johnson & Johnson single jab vaccine.

The vaccination campaign is expected to start on Monday 26 July 2021.

The campaign is applicable to seafarers of all nationalities serving on board any type or category of seagoing ship calling in the ports of Antwerp, Ghent or Zeebrugge, who have not yet received a doses of an European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved COVID-19 vaccine in the last 12 months.

The campaign is not applicable to persons sailing on board any ship not considered as seafarer, such as special personnel, industrial personnel, superintendents, technicians, passengers or seafarers who have received at least one doses of a EMA approved COVID‐19 vaccine in the last 12 months.

Eligible seafarers should provide proof of the following:
a. A seafarer’s employment agreement, issued under the national law
b. A seamen’s book or similar proof of identification as seafarer.

Any shipping company, captain or agent (mentioned as “applicant”), may apply for the vaccination of crew on board a ship, scheduled to call at the Belgian Ports of Antwerp, Ghent or Zeebrugge. Applications should be made at least 48 hours prior to the expected arrival at berth of the vessel, and sent to the following maritime medical centers:

Port of Antwerp and Port of Ghent:
Italiëlei 51
2000 Antwerpen
[email protected]
+32 32 29 07 70|
Mobile: Kris Lemmens for emergencies only +32 474 25 05 09

Port of Zeebrugge:
Dr Thomas Vandamme
Noordzeestraat 14
8380 Zeebrugge
[email protected]
+32 475 73 61 27

The application must contain at least the following information:

  • The list of seafarers or crewmembers to be vaccinated, containing name(s), surname, date of birth and nationality
  • Details of the ship
    - i. Name of the ship
    - ii. IMO number
    - iii. Expected date/time of berthing
    - iv. Expected date/time of departure (or shifting)
    - v. Port and location of berth
  • Requested date/time of vaccination mentioned as date + am/pm
  • Contact details of applying party (shipping company, captain or agent)
  • Any other relevant information related to COVID‐19 (any previous vaccinations, health conditions)
  • Any other logistic information (accessibility of the ship)

On receiving an application, the maritime medical center will confirm (or refuse) the vaccination request to the applicant. In addition, it will either confirm the proposed date/time or propose an alternative date/time taking into account the expected time of berthing and departure.

Vaccination remains subject to the vaccine availability and logistic issues, and may be prioritized based on objective reasons.

The mobile vaccination on board the ship is only applicable for 5 or more crewmembers. In case an application is send for 4 or less crewmembers, the applicant shall make own arrangements to send the crew members for vaccination at one of the above mentioned medical centers.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Belgium, contact GAC Belgium at [email protected]

If quoting any content from Hot Port News, please cite GAC Hot Port News as the source.