Vaccination sessions are being organised for staff at the Island’s vital air and sea carriers.
Jabs will be offered to crew at the Steam Packet, the Ramsey-based sea freight carrier Mezeron, along with Isle of Man-based crew at flight operator Loganair and air ambulance provider IAS Medical.
The vaccine rollout to transport providers’ staff follows a review by senior officers managing the Government’s response to the pandemic.
Steam Packet crew are subject to a number of restrictions including a modified self-isolation order when they are off duty, and a requirement to wear PPE while travelling between work and home. Consequently, sessions have been arranged for them at the Chester Street vaccination hub outside of its normal operating hours.
Crew members and vaccinators will wear PPE while the jabs are given and the hub will be deep-cleaned after each session, with the premises to be checked by the Infection Prevention and Control team.
Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:
‘We have always said that our borders are our key defence against the virus, and this new chapter in our vaccination programme will reduce the risk of the virus being brought to the Island. Vaccinating crew who travel between the Isle of Man and the UK is a progressive step, as it will protect individuals from serious illness should they pick up the virus, and so help safeguard our critical national transport links.’
Groups will be booked in for vaccinations in arrangement with operators. An additional session for Steam Packet shift workers who were unable to attend this week is to be organised soon.
In a separate initiative, the nurse-led vaccination team will host a pop-up clinic at the Western Wellbeing Centre in Peel on Saturday (27 February) for local residents who are unable to travel. The clinic is fully booked, with slots offered to 126 people already registered for a jab. It follows a successful weekend clinic held earlier this month in Ramsey.