How The Covid-19 Vaccine Will Impact Future Travel Plans

Some travel providers have already begun accepting proofs of vaccination as a requirement for travel.

In the United States currently, around 16 million people have received their initial dose of the Covid-19 vaccine; about 5% of the population. Many individuals are wondering how long it will be before the world will return to a sense of normalcy, and things like travel won’t be seen as a major risk to our health. America has been struggling to keep up with their initial promises as well for how many citizens they claimed would be vaccinated by this point. 

With the Biden Administration officially inaugurated into the White House, however, many are expecting his new “lead with science” approach to help the US finally get on the right track with this pandemic. For some individuals, travelling is still out of the question until the entire world is more stable and Covid-19 isn’t as rampant of a problem, but for others who are receiving their doses, they’re already planning on the first trip they’ll be taking when they have the opportunity to do so. 

Michele Scott, a physician who had just had her first dose of the vaccine claims that she already has “multiple trips planned for later this year, the biggest one being South Africa. But even after being vaccinated, I’m still taking precautions like wearing a mask, wiping my seat down and using hand sanitizer.” While individuals like Scott are eager to get back into the world, they’ll likely have to comply with certain health and safety requirements for the foreseeable future.

“The arrival of multiple vaccines definitely has inspired some optimism about returning to travel. It’s very likely that most countries will eventually require proof of having received a Covid-19 vaccine for entry.”

Kacey Ernst is an epidemiology professor at the University of Arizona who recently discussed with the media how even if you’ve been vaccinated, you may not be fully in the clear for travel and any other close-contact activities. Several experts have already emphasized that the vaccine doesn’t actually begin protecting you until at least one week after the second/final dose. 

“It takes a while for the immune system to kick in, so  you don’t want to go get vaccinated and hop on your flight the next day and expect that you’re covered,” Ernst explained. The CDC has also claimed that it’s still possible for an individual to become infected with Covid-19 just before or just after receiving their vaccination and still get sick. 

The vaccine itself, however, will not make you sick with Covid-19, nor will you test positive for the virus after being vaccinated. What isn’t hugely clear is whether or not someone who has been vaccinated can still spread the virus to others. If that’s the case a completely vaccinated individual could continue to unknowingly carry and spread the virus without expressing any symptoms, so for now the CDC and other healthcare experts are claiming all health and safety procedures will remain in place until a greater herd immunization throughout the world is met. 

“COVID-19 still behaves in a way where we don’t have all of the answers, because of that, we can’t have large gatherings until everyone is vaccinated. Even though you’re protected, to protect others, it’s still necessary to take precautions.”

Dr. Jenny Yu, the senior manager for medical integrity at Healthline, spoke with the press about the importance of continuing to avoid indoor and other high-risk activities, even if you and your friends have been vaccinated. She pointed out that Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines initially tested at a 52% and 80% range of efficacy (very similar to the flu shots efficacy), so their success relies on herd immunity as well. 

“Having situational awareness and knowing what’s going on in the area where you’re traveling to, and being cognizant of the level of risk that you’re traveling from, is important. Just because you’ve been vaccinated doesn’t mean you can disregard all public health advice. So, you must continue to wear your mask, practice social distancing and pack your hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes along with your passport,” Ernst explained. 

Dr Anthony Fauci claimed back in December that between 75% and 85% of the population in America must be vaccinated to achieve a level of herd immunity that would make it safe to return to a greater sense of normalcy, and allow things like travel to resume again. Being vaccinated also won’t exempt an individual from presenting a negative Covid-19 test at the airport to allow for any sort of travel. 

Being vaccinated for Covid-19 is an amazing step in returning to a life of normalcy, and is the key to allowing travel to occur again. While 2021 may still look a little different, there’s no denying America is currently on the right track for leading its citizens out of this pandemic with science and actual facts only.