Setting sail safely

By their nature, cruise ships are very large petri dishes. As such, it's incumbent passengers be vaccinated against COVID-19.



June 15, 2021 - 9:15 AM

Photo by Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Take a vaccine with a 95% rate of effectiveness, get a large enough sample size, and statistically speaking, it should be pretty obvious what’s bound to happen.

So while conspiracy-minded anti-vaxxers point fingers over news that the first fully vaccinated cruise to set sail in North America included a couple of COVID cases, anyone who knows 95 is less than 100 ought to have assumed this would be the case — if not on the first cruise, then certainly within the first few.

But while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 94%-95% effective at preventing infection, they are 100% effective in preventing serious disease in multiple clinical trials. So while it comes as no surprise that a tiny percentage of people (i.e. two out of 600) on this cruise tested positive for COVID, it’s just as unsurprising that both of these fully vaccinated cruisers were asymptomatic. Even when the vaccine failed to prevent the disease, those who were infected still had a level of protection.

This cruise sailed from Aruba and is headed to Barbados. Of course, it didn’t sail from Florida, where state law bans businesses from requiring customers be vaccinated. The cruise should serve to, once again, provide evidence that cruises should only be undertaken when all or at least the vast majority of cruisers are fully vaccinated.

We have editorialized repeatedly that Gov. Ron DeSantis should reconsider this ban on vaccine passports, or at least provide some exception to the cruise industry. Given what’s happened on this cruise, we continue to hope he changes his mind.