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Vaccinations begin for cruise ship staff in San Diego

Holland America Cruise Ship 030720
Posted at 11:13 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 14:13:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It’s not something we’ve seen in San Diego for a while, a cruise ship docked at the Embarcadero.

But, the action wasn’t on the ship, instead, it was inside of the B Street Pier and Cruise Ship Terminal where hundreds of cruise ship staff members got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Wednesday and Thursday, Sharp Health will vaccinate about 450 members from three Holland America Cruise ships in San Diego. Crew members will return to San Diego betwen 17 to 21 days later for the second dose.

RELATED: Sharp HealthCare to vaccinate cruise ship staff Wednesday and Thursday

Henk Draper, captain of the Koningsdam, said Wednesday that, "all joining crew members, when we go on a cruise again, will get vaccinated before joining the ship."

The CDC says cruises can return as early as mid-July if 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Or cruise lines can also choose to run a test cruise.

Either way, Captain Draper says the staff is ready to welcome back guests.

"They were very excited because it means once the ship is vaccinated we are closer to going back to business," Draper added.

Port officials say cruise ships could begin sailing out of San Diego by the fall. The Koningsdam is set to begin its first season homeporting in San Diego on Oct. 24 for cruises to Mexico and Hawaii.