Several US cruise lines have modified their policy to prohibit guests from traveling on cruises from the US who have received mixed vaccine types for Covid-19.
The modifications, however, do not appear to have an impact on UK guests taking this summer’s ‘seacation’ cruises across the UK.
According to Cruise Critic, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises have amended their health and safety policies to exclude passengers who have received combined doses of Covid-19 vaccinations.
According to the report: “The move has left many Canadians and Brits who received mixed doses alongside AstraZeneca upon the recommendations of their home countries wondering what will happen to their cruises.”
Passengers on cruises departing from the United States must now have both jabs of the same type, according to Carnival guidelines.
Princess Cruises is set to launch a series of ‘seacations’ for vaccinated British passengers on the Regal and Sky Princess later this month, departing from Southampton.
It said in the advising section for UK cruises: “The definition of ‘vaccinated’ is a minimum of 14 days following the second dose of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered and 14 days following the recently approved single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine being administered.”
Proof of vaccination must be an official certificate of immunization status provided by a local health authority, such as NHS England, and can be in either digital or printed format.
For cruises in the United States, however, the policy is different. It reads: “Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated. Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail, so long as the final dose is received at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise.”
Norwegian Cruise Line has separate policies for ships operating in the United States and those operating outside of the United States.
According to the document, “US Based Vessels will accept any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or World Health Organisation (WHO) authorized single brand vaccination protocol. Including, J&J Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford. Mixed vaccination protocol will not be accepted (i.e. Pfizer + Moderna or AstraZeneca + Pfizer, etc).
“All Other Vessels will accept any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), or World Health Organisation (WHO) authorized single brand vaccination protocol. Or a mixed vaccination protocol of only AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna combinations.
“Vaccines received via clinical trials will not be accepted as they do not specify vaccine received.”
Next month, Holland America Line will resume sailing in the Mediterranean, and in the autumn, it will depart from California.
Its policy stated that: “Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated.
“Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., both are mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail.”
According to the Carnival policy, “For cruises departing the U.S., the CDC requires both vaccines in a 2-dose series to be of the same type. They also accept mixing mRNA vaccines only (Pfizer and Moderna). No other vaccine combination meets the criteria to be considered fully vaccinated. So, for example, Canadian or other international guests who received a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer are considered unvaccinated by the CDC.
“Guests who are not fully vaccinated, according to these criteria, will be considered unvaccinated and need to apply for a vaccination exemption.”
Clia UK & Ireland, a trade association, said in a statement: “Vaccinations are part of a ‘multi-layered’ approach. Protocols including health screening, social distancing, shoreside excursions and contingency procedures have all been implemented.
“Specific vaccination policies are determined by individual cruise lines, in accordance with a UK government-approved Framework Agreement.”
According to a recent BBC story, a UK medical trial utilizing a “mix-and-match” method to Covid vaccinations “appears to give good protection.”
In the Com-Cov research, 850 volunteers aged 50 and up were given the doses four weeks apart.
According to the paper, mixing doses could provide more flexibility for a booster program and help countries that still have a long way to go with their immunization programs.
Following concerns about uncommon but deadly blood clots, some younger people are being offered Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccinations as a second dosage after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Book by: Aug 23rd 2022
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