The men and women of Bath Iron Works have a long history of helping others in the community, from volunteer work to gate collections in support of numerous community organizations and causes throughout the state. And since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked together to respond to this new challenge and support the community around us. We have used face coverings and practiced proper hygiene/handwashing/cleaning and social distancing to reduce the impact of the virus as much as possible here at BIW, and to avoid spreading the virus outside our gates. Our continued vigilance using those tools is crucial.
We are now taking steps to make a new tool available – COVID-19 vaccines.
BIW is partnering with our local health systems to make the two-part vaccine available to each of us as soon as possible. It is extremely important that we each receive the two-part vaccine in order to keep ourselves, our families and all of Maine safe.
The work we do every day at BIW is important. Delivering ships to our US Navy customer on schedule supports the defense of our country, our allies, and humanitarian efforts worldwide. For almost a year, COVID-19 has threatened and hindered our ability to deliver to our customer. Now, with access to the vaccine becoming a reality, we will soon be able to get past this pandemic and remove a significant roadblock to our work, while protecting the community around us.
Please – learn about the vaccine and get vaccinated. Your fellow shipbuilders, communities, and your country are all counting on you.
COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ
When will COVID-19 vaccines be available to BIW employees?
As more doses of the vaccines become available, BIW is working to have its workers included in the more than 200,000 Phase 1B/1C individuals eligible to receive the vaccine in Maine, along with other essential workers such as first responders, educators, and utilities/transportation personnel. This work is happening with the Maine CDC to ensure that our receipt of the vaccine is aligned with the state’s prioritization for all Maine residents. BIW employees will be notified as soon as vaccine is available.
Are BIW employees required to take the vaccine?
Taking the vaccine is entirely voluntary. However, BIW employees are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect themselves, their families, their coworkers and our community, to help bring an end to this pandemic.
Who will administer the vaccine?
The vaccine will be administered by local health care providers at their facilities. BIW plans to offer transportation for employees to get vaccinated during their normal work schedule.
How can we trust that the vaccines are safe?
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety, please see the CDC’s website.
Which vaccine will BIW employees receive?
We do not yet know which vaccine will be available to BIW employees. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been determined to be safe and effective against COVID-19, and are being distributed throughout the country. Other COVID-19 vaccines are still undergoing testing and have not yet been approved for use.
Will I have to get two shots of vaccine?
The vaccines currently approved for distribution are given in two shots, one at a time and spaced apart. The first shot gets your body ready. The second shot is given at least three weeks later to make sure you have full protection. If you are told you need two shots, make sure that you get both of them. At the time of your first shot, you will be given an appointment at a later date to come back for your second shot.
Are there side effects from taking the vaccine?
According to the CDC, the vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. Having these types of side effects does NOT mean that you have COVID-19.
Do I have to continue wearing a mask and social distancing after I have taken the vaccine?
Even after you get both vaccine shots, you will need to keep wearing a face covering, social distancing and practicing good hygiene. For some people, it is possible that the vaccine will help prevent you from getting seriously ill, but not protect you entirely from getting the virus. Right now, experts also don’t know how long the vaccine will protect you, or if you could still transmit the virus to others without getting sick yourself. Not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away, so it’s still important to protect yourself and others.