COVID-19 Vaccine

Latest CDC Guidance for Vaccinated Crew

The CDC just updated its guidance for fully vaccinated crew in its "Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected or Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)." Although much is directed at passenger (cruise) ships, there are some considerable updates on cleaning, disinfection, disembarkation of infected crew or passengers, isolation and other things. 


Message from Maritime Labor

See the the latest unified message by maritime labor against COVID-19 and in support of vaccinations here.

What about the Booster Shots?

The subject of booster shots, now approved for the Pfizer vaccine, is still the subject of much debate. Here are the basics: CDC on who needs a booster shot?

Generally speaking, most scientists do not recommend the booster shots yet for healthy people. The CDC does now recommend a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine six months after initial vaccination for people who are 65 and older and those aged 50 to 64 with health problems that put them at high risk of severe disease.

The CDC also recommends that a booster dose may be considered for people age 18 to 49 who have an underlying medical condition and those whose jobs may put them at higher risk of exposure, including health care workers. In echoes of the onset of the vaccination period, the list of workers does not yet include merchant mariners.

Health experts say that in terms of reducing infections and hospitalizations overall, the benefits of vaccinating people who are unvaccinated are much greater than booster doses. People with healthy immune systems who were fully vaccinated are still very well protected. They have a lower chance of being seriously ill, hospitalized, or dying of COVID-19. And the evidence shows that the strength of the FDA approved vaccines is holding up well despite the Delta variant.

The main health problems that CDC has recognized as qualifying for booster shots is among cancer patients, recent transplant recipients, and other immunocompromised people. People with serious heart and lung conditions are also eligible. CDC has also recognized the main underlying Medical Conditions, apparently of somewhat less urgency, that could make a person eligible for the booster shot.  

CDC doesn't recommend mixing up different vaccines and news reports suggest that the Moderna and JNJ versions will have their own boosters soon.

COVID Surges on Delta Variant

July 2021 -- The highly transmissable Delta variant of the coronavirus has caused a sudden nationwide increase in cases, just as vaccination rates stalled between 25 and 70 percent, depending on region. The surge is most dangerous for the unvaccinated. The vaccine has protected Americans from both infection and severe illness with amazing effectiveness. Yet even people who are vaccinated are not entirely free from the risk of a mild Delta infection. Accordingly, CDC now says that together with some transmission risk for the vaccinated, masks are advisable at any indoor public gathering. Above all, vaccination is the single most effective thing a person can do to both stay individually safe and fight the surge.   

Practical Facts and Guidance on the Vaccines

Here are is the latest practical guide for seafarers on the COVID-19 vaccine and answers to key questions: Practical Guide for Seafarers and Shipping Companies

Some basic facts about the COVID-19 vaccine from CDC --   Vaccine Facts

Here's the latest from CDC about what to do when you are fully vaccinated: CDC guidance on post-vaccination

SUP and Maritime Labor Demands Vaccine Access

America's deep-sea maritime Unions spoke with one voice in support of prioritized merchant mariner access to the COVID-19 vaccine. as essential front-line workers. The letter was addressed to all the Governors of the United States, who hold the vaccine distribution authority, as well as the CDC working group that came up with the original and amended prioritization schedule.The maritime industry group USA Maritime also supported the letter and many operators signed on to similar versions. Used only as a starting point and touchstone for the unified efforts of maritime labor across a spectrum of activism, here's the Union letter:

Joint Union Letter on Vaccine Access

The CDC did its final priority access recommendation in late December and announced it in a presentation that can be accessed at CDC Priority Access Determination. There were other interventions on state and local levels, that interfered with vaccine delivery to mariners. The Committee on Maritime Transportation System issued a white paper calling attention to the importance of merchant mariners gaining priority access to the vaccine. Check it out at CMTS Paper on Priority COVID-19 Vaccination of U.S. Merchant Mariners.


During the period the the SUP took its own action in support of vaccine access, remaining engaged and active at the national, state and local to press for expedited access. In meetings, emails, letters and phone calls authorities heard our demands and frustrations. As a relatively minor marker of those efforts to aid in member vaccinations, here are copies of the letters sent to West Coast governors who the most effective authority over vaccine distribution in our main areas of operation:

Letter to Hawaii Gov. Ige

Letter to Washington Gov. Inslee

Letter to California Gov. Newsom

Vaccine Finder State by State

The CDC's main COVID vaccine website has a good portal to all the latest information in each state. Find it here

Search for Vaccine in Your State and Location

Kaiser Access

Members of Kaiser can sign up for the vaccine here: Kaiser Vaccine Registration


Washington currently vaccinates Tier 1 residents including healthcare workers, first responders, residents and staff who live or work in long-term-care facilities, anyone age 65 or older, and all people 50 and older who also live in a multigenerational household. The state offers residents a “phase finder” tool to determine eligibility and be notified when residents become eligible.

The state lists providers and contact information by county.

See the link to a form that can be filled out and notification signed up for at the same time at Phase Finder / Encuentra Tu Fase (

The general WA vaccine information page is at Vaccine Information :: Washington State Department of Health.


The Hawaii public health department has its main COVID page here.

Hawaii has its main vaccination page here and there is a clinic by clinic registration page here, and that may be the most direct HI resource to actually getting the vaccine. 

There is interactive map for an island-by-island vaccine locator page here.



State website is here at Oregon vaccine.

Hotline: 866-698-6155

Oregon currently vaccinates healthcare workers, long-term-care residents and employees, and educators. A federal judge ordered state officials to offer the vaccine to prison inmates. As of Feb. 15, residents aged 75 and older are eligible, with the age range expanding every week through March 1. There is a county-by-county breakdown with relevant information such as website links and phone numbers. There is a Get Vaccinated Oregon eligibility tool, which allows residents to sign up for notifications and help with finding a provider.



The state has broken down its initial rollout into three main groups and currently is working its way through the first two. The 1A includes healthcare workers and long-term-care residents, accounting for roughly three million people. The 1B group includes individuals age 65 and older, and those who work in education and child care, emergency services and food and agriculture.

Starting March 15, healthcare providers may vaccinate individuals aged 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from Covid-19 as a direct result of certain severe health conditions or certain high-risk disabilities.

This will vary by county. State officials largely have left the on-the-ground logistics of vaccine distribution to local health departments that have partnered with local health providers. 

California's vaccination program has had trouble from the start. The state's online registry for the vaccine is at MyTurn ( It is still is a work in progress.

Californians can register on the website to be notified when it’s their turn for the vaccine in a number of counties. County by county registration for the vaccine is more or less also available at the individual county websites.They are accessible in the general national "vaccine finder" link above.

MyTurn has improved and is expected to continue to improve in the coming weeks as more counties are able to link their registration systems to the state’s online platform. .

The website advises people without email addresses or a mobile phone to call the state’s COVID hotline at 833-422-4255.

Bay Area

County-by-county Status and Sites


  • Currently vaccinating Phase 1A: Healthcare Workers and Phase 1B: 65+, education and child care, emergency services (including law enforcement), and food/agriculture

Contra Costa

  • Members of Phase 1A (healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities) and Phase 1B residents aged 65 and older as vaccine supply allows, in keeping with the State’s guidance.
  • On February 18th Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) updated its eligibility policy for COVID-19 vaccine to extend vaccination eligibility to residents who work in the education and childcare sector, food and agriculture workers, and emergency services workers as defined by California’s vaccination plan Phase 1B.

San Francisco
San Francisco is currently vaccinating:

  • Frontline healthcare workers 
  • People 65 years and older. Some sites are only booking appointments for people 75 and older due to limited supply.
  • Starting February 24, people working in the following sectors are eligible for the vaccine:
    • Education and childcare
    • Emergency services
    • Food and agriculture

San Mateo
San Mateo County is currently vaccinating

Santa Clara

For more information and to sign up for a vaccine, visit site or call (833) 422-4255, or contact your healthcare provider. You can also sign

Los Angeles

From Los Angeles County Public Health:

Five sites mass vaccination sites are open, which were chosen for their regional accessibility and their ability to handle large capacities of people. They are:

Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA 91768

The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90305

California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330

L.A. County Office of Education, 12830 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242

Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355

These large-scale vaccination sites will be able to vaccinate approximately 4,000 people per day at each site, significantly increasing the number of frontline healthcare workers vaccinated. Vaccinations are free, and available to all who are currently eligible, regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. For those who have insurance, coverage information may be requested as part of the appointment scheduling process.

Additionally, Los Angeles County residents who are 65 years old and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Residents in this high-priority age group may receive a communication from their health care provider with information about COVID-19 vaccinations and how to receive one. They can also visit to schedule an appointment for vaccination. For those without access to a computer or the internet, a call center will be open to help schedule appointments at 833-540-0473, daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Individuals are encouraged to use the website whenever possible to sign up for an appointment to avoid long wait times on the phone.


Heavy on details and hard to navigate, the State of California's Vaccination Plan can nevertheless be accessed here:

California Vaccination Plan


This slide was part of the CDC recommendation made in late December to adjust the definition of essential workers to include education workers, among others. The net effect was to lower the priority access to mariners and other essential workers in transportation and logistics.