International Maritime Center (IMC) Oakland Helps Provide Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines to Seafarers

Oakland, CA May 15, 2021 /– International Maritime Center (4001 7th St. Oakland, Calif (501(c)3 Non-Profit) hosted an Alameda County Health Dept Covid vaccination clinic with Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine for all seafarers on Friday, May 14, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. 

IMC and ITF (www.itfglobal.org) were thrilled to partner with Alameda County Health Dept to bring this much-needed service to seafarers. We are all most thankful to Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless program staff who carried out the immunizations. We owe thanks to Sam Leavens of the ITF who helped organize the event and brought volunteers to help.  We thank US Customs and Border Protection for waiving the fees for seafarers to obtain “medical parole” documents to get this free vaccination treatment. We also thank Chris Mourgas, local manager for Norton Lilly International, who spread the information to many ships and other shipping agents, and coordinated with the terminals and IMC. We are most thankful for our volunteers and chaplains who staff our center and regularly provide ship visiting and transport for seafarers when they visit Oakland. Our chaplains and volunteers really stepped up to the plate to make this event a terrific success and look forward to upcoming weekly clinics.

Alameda County Health Dept professionals were true Good Samaritans. When hearing of a snafu with US Customs, that the crew of the Navios Azure, were confined to their ship. Health Dept employees voted to go onboard the ship. We escorted the Alameda County Health Dept. team right to the ship with our TWIC cards. We vaccinated the total crew of 25 onboard.

Friday, May 14 was the first day of this pilot project. Thursday, May 20 will be the second vaccination clinic. Due to site limitations and Covid protocols, the clinic will be initially limited to administering approximately 100 vaccines per day to Seafarers every Thursday.  We are hopeful this will lead to more clinics so all seafarers coming into Bay Area can be vaccinated and can experience our welcome of a stranger in our land which is our mission.  This vaccination clinic exemplifies the hospitality and service to seafarers that is our goal at Port of Oakland International Maritime Center (IMC).

International Maritime Center, based in Oakland,  is part of a 200-year-old interfaith worldwide network that works for the health and welfare of seafarers.

Lord, we pray for an end of this pandemic that is ravaging our human family.  We give thanks for all those who work at sea. We acknowledge our need for the food and raw materials they transport. We recognize that they are sometimes in danger and their long absences often involve sacrifices in their family life. Help us to show our gratitude not only in our words, but also in our actions.  Amen.

For more information e-mail:  jpclaassen@comcast.net

IMC Phone #510-839-2226

Photo: Courtesy of IMC Oakland

For similar initiatives in ports around the United States, see the full list on the NAMMA website: https://namma.org/vaccines/