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Case Study

COVID-19 & Influenza Vaccination Drive for a Global Cruise Ship Operator



International SOS conducted a vaccination drive at sea for a global cruise ship operator, enabling all crew to meet the vaccination requirements set by the destination port.


Originally, this global cruise ship operator had planned to have staff vaccinated onboard their vessels, at whichever port they were in, using the WHO ‘yellow cards’ as the proof or evidence of vaccination. Their very large crew size, a short execution time-frame, together with a lack of prior vaccination evidence made this a difficult strategy to implement. In addition, lack of access to digital record maintenance and an inability to issue the WHO yellow card, made them reach out to us for support.


During a short window of docking and changeover in port, International SOS assembled a strong team comprised of clinical, operational and administrative staff, supported by staff liaison and data reporting officers at the client’s head office. Our teams worked closely with the federal government throughout.
Our team assessed crew members individually to understand if they were eligible to receive either type of vaccine and then administered the vaccines in accordance with government requirements. The ship’s ballroom was repurposed to provide a streamlined flow of vaccine recipients and mobile vaccination fridges ensured the integrity of the vaccine cold chain. Critically, the vaccinations were registered and uploaded to provide digital proof of vaccination to both our client and vaccine recipients; individual crew members were given both digital and hard copy vaccination certificates.

vaccination drive on cruise 2022 


Over two separate days, International SOS staff administered 776 influenza vaccinations and 334 COVID-19 vaccinations (a mixture of first, second, third and fourth doses). Our team’s rapid mobilisation of a bespoke COVID-19 and Influenza vaccination campaign enabled our client’s cruise ship to leave port with a fully vaccinated maritime crew onboard, all the while ensuring compliance with local government vaccination requirements.