4.000 Workers Get Pneumococcal Vaccine at Norwegian Spirit Dry Dock in Marseilles

Feb 03, 2020

Vaccination on a massive scale is currently underway at the  Marseilles shipyard (Chantier naval de Marseille) after 16 cases of pneumococcal infection were reported on people working on the refurbishment of the cruise ship Norwegian Spirit. The ship owned by Norwegian Cruise Line is currently in Dry dock number 10 at the port of Marseille, the largest in the Mediterranean and the third biggest in the world.

Two workers were hospitalized at the Mediterranean Infection Hospital Institute (IHU) at Timone Hospital, and one of them is still in intensive care. The bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia can cause pulmonary and ENT infections, but also be the cause of more severe forms of invasive infections, as specified by the Regional Health Agency which is organizing a massive vaccination campaign on the site.

4,000 people of 13 different nationalities work at the dry dock no. 10 on the refurbishment of Norwegian Spirit, including many workers subcontracted by the shipyard as well as cruise ship crew members. Their vaccination on a voluntary basis started on Sunday and continues on Monday, with 5 teams of doctors and nurses currently onboard the cruise ship.

At first, a suspicion of the Coronavirus had created panic on the site at "Norwegian Spirit", reported LeMarin on January 30.

According to the Le Parisien, 152 French shipyard employees exercised on Friday their right of withdrawal and no longer approach the construction site. “Everyone is worried, it is an anxiety-provoking climate. The biggest fear is to bring this bacteria home and contaminate children. If I hadn't been feverish, I would have been vaccinated, "says one French construction worker.

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.  These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including: ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, meningitis. Pneumococcus bacteria are spread through sneezing, coughing and close contact with an infected person.