Canadians who took government advice to take the first shots they could get have just discovered that – instead of enabling them to resume their normal lives, including travel – it could actually force them to continue to stay home.
Open Jaw broke the news in Canada Monday that not only some destinations, but also cruise lines, were not accepting ‘mixed’ vaccine schedules as ‘full’ vaccination and by late Monday, the news started getting the attention of Canada’s mainstream media.
Yesterday, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc addressed what many Canadian travellers and members of the travel industry feel is moving the goal posts for Canadians.
LeBlanc says Ottawa continues to have discussions with other nations, which he believes will lead to an “evolution” and “adjustment” of the the policies of countries who currently do not approve having one type of vaccine for a first dose and a different type for a second dose.
That may not be enough to get Canadians on cruise ships – at least in the U.S.
How About a Third Shot? Cruise Lines
Open Jaw sent inquiries to a number of cruise lines who – as we reported Monday – have a ‘no mixed vaccine’ policy on their web sites. We asked them to confirm the policy and whether they expected to change it to accommodate the many Canadians who followed government advice to mix vaccines.
So far Princess Cruises has responded, saying the policy follows CDC guidance.
“The vaccination policy has not changed, but Princess recently has provided some additional detail on it because of questions on mixed vaccinations,” Negin Kamali, the Director, Public Relations at Princess Cruises told Open Jaw in an email.
“The Princess policy reflects the US CDC requirements. The US policy remains unchanged that ‘fully vaccinated’ means completing all required dose of a COVID-19 series. By series, the US CDC is referring to the same type of vaccine (mRNA, vector, etc.).
“The US CDC will recognize the following as fully vaccinated:
- 1AZ + 2mRNA of same type
- 1AZ + 2mRNA (different types – one Pfizer, one Moderna)
- 2mRNA (different types)
- 2mRNA (same types)
“If guests have already received one single dose of a vector vaccine and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine, you may receive a 2nd dose of the mRNA vaccine and will then be considered fully vaccinated.”
Of course, in Canada, access to vaccines is not ‘on demand.’
So it appears that, until the CDC changes its policies – and that trickles down to adoption by cruise lines – Canadians who received mixed vaccines will not be cruising.
At least from U.S. homeports.
Some cruise line web sites have published different vaccine requirements for different destinations/ itineraries, rather than blanket requirements fleet wide.
That leaves some cruises on lines that do not recognize mixed vaccines on U.S. itineraries available to Canadians.
And of course, some cruise lines operating entirely internationally – for example river cruise lines – are following the entry requirements of the region, like the EU.
If you’re still confused, so are we.
It’s one more devastating hurdle for Canadian travellers and their travel advisors to overcome in the return to travel.