Royal Caribbean has made a further update on its vaccine protocols for cruises departing the U.S. the cruise line will now accept mixed series of mRNA vaccines after updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mix and Match is a Go for Royal Caribbean
The CDC has clarified its position regarding mixing COVID vaccines to Royal Caribbean, and as a result, the cruise line updated its FAQ page with the relevant details. It does now mean guests will be classed as fully vaccinated even if they received doses from two different approved manufacturers.
Royal Caribbean details, “For sailings departing from the U.S., the CDC will now recognize a mixed series of mRNA vaccines (e.g., 1 shot of Pfizer with 1 shot of Moderna, in any order) as fully vaccinated. The doses must be administered a minimum of 28 days apart. The guest will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the final dose.”
The change will be welcome news for those who have received mixed vaccinations. Guests will be classed fully vaccinated not just by remaining with the same vaccine but also if 1 shot is from Pfizer and 1 shot from Moderna. Both are mRNA type vaccines.
The doses must be administered a minimum of 28 days apart to be accepted, and guests will be fully vaccinated 14 days after the final dose. Royal Caribbean also accepts the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, which only needs one shot and not an mRNA type.
Before the Vaccine Update
Previously, for guests to be fully vaccinated before a cruise vacation, they could only receive the doses from just one of the approved manufacturers such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen.
Before the cruise line updated its website on September 20, 2021, with the new guidance from the CDC, it said, “We understand some guests may have been vaccinated with doses from two different vaccine manufacturers. Whether these are accepted depends on where you are sailing from and the mix of manufacturers.”
It went on to say, “The U.S. CDC has clarified their position regarding mixed vaccinations and provided updated guidance to Royal Caribbean. Currently, the CDC does not recognize any mixed combination of COVID-19 vaccines as fully vaccinated. To be recognized as fully vaccinated, guests must complete a vaccine series with products from the same manufacturer with the last dose administered at least 14 days before their sail date.”
This news comes a day after Celebrity Cruises also updated its vaccine requirements due to guidance from the CDC. the cruise lines now states on its website, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has clarified their position regarding mixed vaccinations and provided Celebrity Cruises with updated guidance. For sailings departing from the US, the CDC will now recognize a mixed combination of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer/Moderna) as fully vaccinated.”
It is important to note that the changes are for U.S. departures only and guests should check any protocols before their cruise vacation as details may differ depending on where ships are sailing from.