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Answers (12)

Why is vaccination not sufficient for plane travel to U.S.?

Why is vaccination not sufficient for plane travel to U.S.?

  1. Anonymous

    Have you heard anything about why COVID-19 vaccination is not sufficient for airplane travel to the US under the new CDC rules? Doesn’t the CDC consider the vaccines to be ineffective?

  2. Anonymous

    Hi Lisa13!

    Vaccines are absolutely effective, however, there are a few things at play here from a policy perspective:
    [LIST]
    [*]A very tiny % of people have been vaccinated worldwide at this point
    [*]There is no global standard for immunization documentation
    [*]The current vaccines are ~90% effective, which is not 100%
    [*]We don’t know yet to what degree people who have been vaccinated can still spread the virus
    [/LIST]
    So until a plurality of people have been vaccinated, pre/post travel testing and quarantine is the most effective and reasonable approach.

    Here in WA for example, it is estimated that it will take 15+ weeks with the current allocations to vaccinate only the 65+ population. With every state/country having different timelines (and no universally-agreed-upon documentation), it’s tricky to craft policy that accounts for all the variables.

    My guess is we’ll see more pre/post travel testing and quarantine requirements before we start to see clear vaccine exemptions, just given the relative numbers of humans involved.

  3. Anonymous

    Just adding a follow-up — one of the things included in President Biden’s executive order on COVID+travel today was a directive to the State Department to start putting together guidance on what an international vaccine protocol would look like.

    That’s a lot of “start thinking about getting around to” language, but it is coming — it will just be slow.

  4. Cdf

    thanks Tiffany- do you reckon by Q4 of this year it would be a safe bet to assume that travel should at least be doable/manageable if you are vaccinated? (obviously not back to complete normal, but at least you will be able to go assuming you have proof of vaccination)

  5. rickyw

    Chiming in…

    That’s a million dollar question 🙂

    I think that’s what almost all of us are hoping for. Of course, hard to say now, but I am optimistic that with another 6+ months of extremely well-funded research on vaccines, rapid testing, and antibody studies… we should be well on our way to a more ‘normal’ by the back half of this year.

  6. Anonymous

    [USER=7125]@Cdf[/USER] — A recent model suggests that what we do (collectively) in the next 7 weeks will have more of an impact than what we do from mid-March through July:

    [ATTACH=full]742[/ATTACH] So the really inequitable vaccine distribution, plus the fact that CA and other places are being pressured to make decisions that go against science and public health does not have me personally optimistic, but….I am still going to book (refundable) travel for October just in case

  7. Cdf

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 71638, member: 7″][USER=7125]@Cdf[/USER] — A recent model suggests that what we do (collectively) in the next 7 weeks will have more of an impact than what we do from mid-March through July:

    [ATTACH=full]742[/ATTACH] So the really inequitable vaccine distribution, plus the fact that CA and other places are being pressured to make decisions that go against science and public health does not have me personally optimistic, but….I am still going to book (refundable) travel for October just in case[/QUOTE]
    thanks tiffany. in either case though, it looks like new cases will basically be zero by july which would suggest post summer travel should be okay?

  8. RTBones

    “it looks like new cases will basically be zero by july….” That is what the model appears to predict. You just need to remember that it is just that – a model. The model (as all models are) is based on certain assumptions. If something happens to make those assumptions invalid, then the model built on those assumptions becomes invalid.

    I’m not trying to be a downer, just a realist. Like many (Most? All?) here, I am itching to travel again. I think booking October travel right now has a realistic potential to go, provided you have the option to book refundable. July or even late summer, however, I personally see as optimistic – but we all have an individual comfort level when it comes to things like this, and we all have a level of risk we are willing (or not willing) to accept.

  9. rickyw

    For whatever it’s worth, we have a domestic vacation planned for July and a (hopefully) big international trip planned for mid November.

  10. Clem

    Same I have a big trip to Japan for October, which is definitely a gamble but we shall see. I’m hoping that the vaccine will be sufficiently rolled out by then.

  11. Anonymous

    [QUOTE=”RTBones, post: 71647, member: 1686″]”it looks like new cases will basically be zero by july….” That is what the model appears to predict. You just need to remember that it is just that – a model. The model (as all models are) is based on certain assumptions. If something happens to make those assumptions invalid, then the model built on those assumptions becomes invalid.[/QUOTE]

    And the key, key, key assumption in this model, is that States/Tribes/Counties/Countries [I]do not[/I] [I]relax movement restrictions[/I] in the next seven weeks.

    Which roughly zero of them are committing to, so…

  12. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”Clem, post: 71651, member: 2278″]Same I have a big trip to Japan for October, which is definitely a gamble but we shall see. I’m hoping that the vaccine will be sufficiently rolled out by then.[/QUOTE]

    I too booked a trip to Japan for late October, but it is an award seat and thus fully refundable. Fingers crossed….

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