Will Carnival Cruise Line Be Impacted by Texas Vaccine Law?

Texas (and other states) have been attempting to move the needle on the childhood vaccine debate in a number of ways. Some of the laws have sought to allow parents some oversight in the administration of some vaccines. Others have attempted to block parents from refusing to vaccinate their children. No matter what direction states are moving, though, it is likely to be a very messy process.

Texas has joined other states in the recent trend of passing strict vaccine legislation which requires parents to have their children vaccinated in order to attend school. The Texas State Senate Bill (SB) 7’s aim is to prevent the spread of diseases, such as measles, which has been on the increase in multiple states in recent years. The law will also require all Texas elementary school children to have the MMR vaccine.

The Texas Department of State Health Services recently filed suit against two of the state’s largest health care companies, saying they violated state law by not reporting to the state the number of parents who failed to vaccinate their children. In a statement, Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, “Failure to report violations of the state’s education code can expose companies to large fines and penalties.”

The state of Texas is on the verge of passing a new law that would allow for families to opt out of receiving potentially harmful vaccines for their children. The legislation, which was passed by the Texas State Senate in a 19-10 vote, would permit parents to file a waiver stating that they do not wish to vaccinate their children. If passed, the law would go into effect on September 1, 2015.

as Carnival Cruise Line announced its intention to make vaccination mandatory for ships leaving Galveston Harbor, the governor of Texas signed a bill that threatens to make the practice illegal. Still, the cruise line seems to think a solution is in sight.

Is there really an exception to every rule?

Carnival Vista returning to port in Galveston. (Photo by Robert Mihovil, courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line). Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a law prohibiting companies operating in the state from requiring vaccination certificates or proof of vaccination. The tone and intent are similar to legislation by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is embroiled in a lawsuit with the Centers for Disease Control that could have major implications for the cruise industry in his state. Texas is 100% open, no restrictions or requirements, Governor Abbott tweeted Monday. The law shall take effect immediately. word-image-1418 (Screenshot via Twitter) The development came on the same day that Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to launch a new U.S. cruise line in the third quarter. …to operate ships leaving Galveston Harbor on July 1… and require all guests to show proof of vaccination. word-image-3673 Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista return to port in Galveston. But in a statement released by Cruise Radio, Carnival expressed little concern. We are currently studying vaccine information legislation recently passed in Texas, the statement said. The law provides for exceptions when an institution applies COVID protocols in accordance with federal law, which is consistent with our plans to comply with the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). READ MORE: NCL adheres to full vaccination requirement for resumption of flights from US ports Cruise Line has made clear in recent weeks that it does not support mandatory vaccination, and Carnival president Christine Duffy noted that no other industry faces similar regulations. These regulations are particularly problematic for Carnival, given the number of families – many of whom have children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for currently available vaccinations – who travel on its ships. Although Carnival has not announced a long-term vaccination schedule, passengers booked on Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze flights departing Galveston in July will need to show proof of vaccination. Passengers on the Carnival Miracle cruise ship, which departs from Seattle for Alaska, must also be fully vaccinated. word-image-3674 We appreciate the progress and support of our recovery in the U.S. by the CDC and other key federal agencies, Carnival said in announcing its return to Texas. However, current CDC requirements for cruising with unvaccinated guests make it very difficult to provide our guests with the experience they expect, especially given the large number of families with young children who travel with us. Therefore, says Duffy, our alternative is to deploy our ships from the United States in July with vaccinated guests. The Carnival Vista will be the first ship of the line on July 3, the Carnival Breeze on July 15. July. The airline has also announced that the Carnival Horizon will depart from Miami in July, but details of the protocols that will apply to the ship have not yet been released. READ MORE: CDC-approved test and pleasure trips on 11 cruise ships

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