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Canaveral becomes first US port to vaccinate cruise ship crew

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The expanded vaccine eligibility is 'significantly important for our cruise tourism business, and we’re proud of our efforts to help get this industry up and running,' Port Canaveral CEO John Murray said
Cruise ship crew began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at Port Canaveral today, making it the first US port to facilitate vaccination for seafarers.

This became possible after Florida expanded vaccine eligibility to include individuals who are in the state for the purpose of providing goods or services to benefit residents and visitors. Besides vessel crew members, port workers are getting vaccinated, too.

'Significantly important' for cruise business

'We have been working closely with our cruise partners, the Florida Department of Health and our port community to come up with a plan and timeline of vaccinating cruise ship crews that could begin the process for a safe return to cruising,' Port CEO Capt. John Murray said. 'This expanded eligibility is significantly important for our cruise tourism business, and we’re proud of our efforts to help get this industry up and running.'

Up to 1,000 shots per day

Port Canaveral developed its vaccination model in cooperation with the Parrish Healthcare Center at Cape Canaveral, Canaveral Fire Rescue and cruise line medical personnel. Up to 1,000 shots per day can be provided to vessel crew, shoreside and waterside support personnel, which aligns with recommendations released this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a return to cruising in the US.

Port Canaveral officials consulted with the US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection and cruise operators as well as the CDC to develop a model to efficiently and expeditiously get vaccines disbursed to crew and shoreside personnel.

Galveston to start Monday

As earlier reported, the Port of Galveston in Texas plans to begin vaccinating crew from two Carnival Cruise Line ships on Monday. 

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