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Royal Caribbean issues revised mixed vaccine policy

In:
24 Jul 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has posted a new mixed vaccine policy to its website to address cruise ship passengers who have gotten more than one brand of Covid-19 vaccine.

The cruise line had posted a mixed vaccine policy last week that banned them, but quickly removed the policy completely in order to review the issue further following a lot of guest concern.

Royal Caribbean's new mixed vaccine policy, which depends on the mix of manufacturers and where you are sailing from.  

The policy begins with the ideal scenario for a fully vaccinated guest: Royal Caribbean accepts vaccines that are fully approved or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. FDA or the World Health Organization. All doses of your vaccine should be from the same manufacturer and of the same type (e.g. mRNA), in the required number of doses to be considered fully administered (e.g. 2 shots of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc., or 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson). 

The mixed vaccine policy breaks down depending on where you are sailing from:

Cruises Departing from U.S. Ports 

Despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prefence for vaccinations not be mixed, Royal Caribbean will still allow mixed vaccines in some situations.

Royal Caribbean will accommodate guests who are vaccinated with mixed mRNA vaccines, such as 1 shot of Pfizer and 1 shot of Moderna. The doses must be separated by at least 28 days and not more than 42 days.

Royal Caribbean does not accept 1 shot of an mRNA vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) mixed with 1 shot of a viral vector vaccine (e.g., AstraZeneca). 

Mixed vaccines may not be accepted at all ports of call. Guests who are vaccinated with a mixed series may need to undergo additional testing at embarkation if they wish to go ashore in these ports.

Cruises Departing from Ports Outside of the U.S.

For cruises departing from ports outside of the U.S., Royal Caribbean will accept guests who are vaccinated with a mixed regimen consisting of 2 shots of the following manufacturer combinations: Pfizer and Moderna, or AstraZeneca with either Pfizer or Moderna.

The doses must be separated by at least 28 days and not more than 42 days for mixes of Pfizer and Moderna, and separated by at least 4 weeks and not more than 12 weeks for combinations of AstraZeneca with Pfizer or Moderna.

Mixed vaccines may not be accepted at all ports of call. Guests who are vaccinated with a mixed series may not be allowed to go ashore at these ports, or may need to undergo additional testing if they wish to go ashore.

The full policy has been posted on Royal Caribbean's website.

The practice of mixing vaccines is common in countries like Canada or Germany, where those governments have been openly advocating this approach for months.

The updated policy would have resulted in many Canadian cruise fans potentially unable to sail.