Port Canaveral becomes first in US to vaccinate workers for COVID-19


Pre-pandemic photo of a 6-ship day at Port Canaveral (Photo: Canaveral Port Authority)

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (WESH) – Port Canaveral began sponsoring a COVID-19 vaccine distribution for port workers and vessel crew members on Friday, becoming the first port in the United States to implement its own vaccination model.

Port officials say as many as 1,000 shots may be given each day.

The distribution began after a Florida Public Health Advisory approved by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees expanded vaccine eligibility to people who are in the state to provide goods or services for residents and visitors.

“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,” Capt. John Murray, Port CEO, said in a statement.

The distribution is the result of a partnership between Port Canaveral and Parrish Healthcare.

“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,” said Murray.

Earlier this week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials released new guidance allowing ships to sail with vaccinated crew passengers as early as mid-July.

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