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What you need to know for Thursday, April 29, 2021

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TAMPA, Fla. — Rise and shine! We made it to Thursday! 

Let's get your day started with all the stories you need to know about. 

Transgender athlete ban

Florida Republican lawmakers approved a controversial ban on transgender girls from participating in school sports in a sudden development as the state's legislative session comes to a close. 

The ban resurfaced as an amendment to a bill about Florida schools. After passing the House earlier in the day, Republican senators gave it the OK. 

Now, it's heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk for his signature to become law.

In addition to banning transgender girls and women from participating in school sports, the bill originally would have required any dispute of the student's biological sex to be resolved by a health care provider by examining "the student's reproductive anatomy."  

However, as the Miami Herald first reported, the newly passed amendment strips that language out. Instead, a student would have to have their birth gender verified by a birth certificate.

RELATED: Florida transgender athlete ban heads to DeSantis' desk

Setting sail once more?🚢

People hoping to, once again, take a cruise ship vacation might be able to as early as mid-July, according to USA Today.

However, citing a letter from the CDC, the report says COVID-19 vaccinations will be the key.

It remains a question -- and debate -- as to whether so-called vaccine passports would verify if passengers and crew members are vaccinated. 

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order to ban anything that forces people to prove they've been immunized. Florida lawmakers are working to make his order permanent with SB 2006.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
A Carnival cruise ship docks at Port Tampa Bay

RELATED: Report: Cruises could restart this summer under CDC guidance

COVID-19 vaccines for animals🐆

For close to a year, scientists were working on a vaccine to help us battle COVID-19.

But did you know at the same time biologists were formulating a shot for animals, too?

Now ZooTampa at Lowry Park is getting ready to keep the animals there safe from coronavirus as well.

The vaccine for animals is completely different from the one for humans but similar in the way it was formulated and likely to be administered. It’s a two-shot regimen that, fortunately, seems to work for several species.

Zoo workers are still in the process of prioritizing which animals will and won’t receive the shots, which should be available later this summer, a decision based on risk versus reward.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine specially developed for animals is on its way to ZooTampa