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NSW Ports has announced almost 1500 seafarers have been vaccinated at Port Botany over the past twelve months through the Seafarers Vaccination Program.

The program is a joint initiative between NSW Ports and NSW Health. Since its inception in May 2021, vaccinations have been administered to crewmembers on 85 ships berthed at Port Botany.

NSW Ports said Port Botany was the first Australian port to offer vaccinations to seafarers, with similar programs now in place at Port Kembla terminals and other NSW and interstate ports.

NSW Ports port operations manager Wayne Ashton said the program is helping to protect the health and welfare of the seafaring workforce, who play an integral role in the supply chain.

“By delivering vaccines, we’re helping to fortify the maritime workforce and broader industry, so seafarers receive the health support they deserve, and supply chains remain resilient,” Mr Ashton said. 

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During the peak of the pandemic when health protocols restricted crew changes, Mission to Seafarers was often the only source of contact for crewmembers.

NSW Ports said the dedicated staff at the Mission to Seafarers also helped deliver the vaccination program.

“I’ve never seen people more grateful to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations,” Mr Ashton said.

“We’ve delivered many initial jabs to seafarers, and I’m really pleased that second doses and booster jabs are being provided to crews now as well.”

NSW Health state emergency operations centre controller Joanne Edwards said the Seafarers Vaccination Program is important for boosting vaccination rates among the seafaring workforce.

“This collaboration between NSW Health and NSW Ports is evidence of how versatile and far-reaching the COVID-19 vaccination effort has been in NSW,” Ms Edwards said.

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