Great Lakes freighter crews getting COVID-19 vaccines

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A health department in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan is now vaccinating lake freighter crews.

By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Due south of the Canadian-United States border, the Chippewa County Health Department has now vaccinated seventy people across seven vessels transiting through the Soo Locks along the St. Mary’s River that permits travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.

Karen Senkus, the health officer for the county health department, said that her agency was contacted by the Lake Carriers’ Association and the US Army Corps of Engineers to coordinate vaccinations for crews transiting in the region.

“We never expected to be the ones offering the vaccine,” said Senkus, during an interview with a local television station.

“So, it’s been really nice to do this because we do know how important the shipping industry is, not just to our community, not just to the state of Michigan, but nationwide and globally.”

The crews have been inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine and the Moderna vaccine’s second dose. Most of those vaccinated are locals to Michigan or Ohio.

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