As the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet began the process of readying their vessels for the shipping season on March 24, 2021, many sailors did not have an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in their home state before they needed to report for their essential work. After a plea for help from the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) began the process of executing a COVID-19 vaccination program, “Shots on Ships”, for U.S. Great Lakes Sailors, allowing them to get vaccinated on their vessels while passing through the Soo Locks.
Through the program, nurses from CCHD pack up their coolers and needles, climb 25-foot ladders to board the vessel, and administer the vaccine. To date, more than 300 vaccines on 25 different vessels have been administered. On Friday, June 25, LCA will present CCHD with a token of appreciation at the Soo Locks Visitors Center. Read more here.