Vaccines are slowly but surely rolling around the world. Does this mean that it is time to think about travel yet?
The tourism industry would like to say yes. According to the latest data of The World Travel and Tourism Council, published in early November, estimated travel restrictions due to the coronavirus virus epidemic to take $ 4.7 trillion from global GDP in 2020.
But medical professionals still urge caution – a message that will remain mandatory even if individuals have been vaccinated against Kovid-19.
Among his warnings: Vaccines are not 100% effective; It takes weeks to make an immunity (After Second shot), little is known about the ability to transmit Kovid-19, even after vaccination; And herd immunity will go a long way. He agrees that the risks will remain, but that freedom of movement between viruses-protected individuals can be safely increased – at least for certain types of travel.
Yes, you still have to wear a mask.
Here you will need to know more about travel safety in the coming months, whether you have already got your shot or are looking for normalcy somewhere on the horizon.
What we know, and what we don’t
Kovid-19 vaccines are approved to date in both the US and Europe, which have been proved Extraordinarily safe, effective and yet the strongest tool in dealing with epidemics. Nevertheless, the known are unknown, especially when it comes to possible virus transmission after vaccination.
This question boils down to one point: Clinical trials for currently approved vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna, did not include routine PCR testing of study participants. Cleveland Clinic’s infectious disease specialist Drs. Kristin Englund states that with no data about their ability to carry the virus, there is enough conclusive evidence to suggest that 95% effective protection from symptomatic infection is achieved.
“For the most part, if you are vaccinated against [a disease]—From chicken pox or measles — you should not be able to transmit that virus to anyone else, ”says Anglund, stating that Kovid-19 or its related vaccines should behave differently, with no known reason. Is not. “I hope we see the same [with Covid-19 vaccines as well]But we have to wait until the study proves that before we can lower our guard. “
There are other important unknowns as well. “To see a vaccine that is 95% effective – those are remarkable numbers, which is far better than we already anticipated” “But we don’t yet have the ability to know who will have a good response [to the vaccine] And which will be one of the 5%.
How to think about herd immunity
Another unknown, to some extent, is what it will take To gain herd immunity.
“The general consensus is that it will take somewhere between 70% and 80% [of the population being immune] To eliminate the pervasive risk — perhaps more, ”says Dr. Scott Wesenberg, who serves as the director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at NYU and the medical director of the university’s travel medicine program. “We are several months away from that, assuming that the vaccine actually precipitates transmission and people get it.”
In the best case, where everything goes right, Wesenberg believes that herd immunity can be obtained for some time in the US – such as clearance of easily distributed vaccines. One by AstraZeneca, which could speed up the rollout.
However, this is not very likely.
“Acceptance of the vaccine is a big important question,” he says. According to him, the World Health Organization has called the vaccine hesitant as one Top 10 threats to public health in 2019, before Kovid-19 became part of the picture.
But herd immunity can be sliced and dried in many ways.
“You can talk about herd immunity within a state, within a small community, or even within a family,” Englund says. “So if everyone is vaccinated in one room but one, you should be able to provide more protection to that person.”
This is a notable consideration for family gatherings whose younger members may take longer to qualify for the vaccine than older or more at-risk members. (Currently approved vaccines have not yet been tested or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children, who may travel by air among multinational groups in 2021.)
Deciding Where your next holiday is – and which one to travel to – such general considerations as weather and value may be more to do with antibodies.
“Definitely look at the current infection rates in that area and, of course, vaccination advances in that population – those are two very important things,” England says.
If it feels like a counter-exercise, don’t be surprised, Wesenberg says.
For example, in New York City, where 25% of the population is already contracted Kovid-19, a proportionately small number of vaccinations may be required to achieve herd immunity if previously infected people make equivalent antibodies Keep it.
“Risk [of picking up or spreading the virus] Might actually be relatively small, ”says Wesenberg of visiting Manhattan, given the strictness of lockdown measures, in the historical acceptance of vaccines Despite the unbelievable population density of the Kovid-19 test between urban area, and local population, compared to rural population.
Go to Kenya, where you can have a completely socially distant safari, he adds, and you may have to go through places like Nairobi, where testing is low, and get an accurate picture of the real-time risk Its difficult.
Advanced definition of “safe travel”
Expect the definition of safe travel to move week by week, especially while some parts of the world have tilted down the boom of holiday travel and related matters New versions of viruses.
Weisenberg says, “You have to factor in the issues of going somewhere and getting the virus back into the area where it is consequential.” He hopes the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will eventually issue alerts for destinations that, depending on local risk, are in the vein of the agency’s measles alert, but say: “There is too much to separate in this way Is widespread. “
A good idea might be to look at the hospital (and especially the ICU-bed) availability figures before going on holiday anywhere, to ensure that the local system is not already overwhelmed.
Weisenberg also believes that the increasing accuracy of rapid Kovid-19 antigen tests will help ensure safety as mobility increases; It is notable that the new US requirements for admission include negative test results, Even for those who have already been vaccinated.
“I’m going to board a plane; I’ll be honest with you. “I will wear a mask, I am sure we will have seats where we will not be sitting next to anyone else, with the appropriate space in the middle, all using hand sanitizer.
“We’ll get an Airbnb and spend quality time on a beach,” she continues, and if we go to local sites, we’ll pretend we weren’t vaccinated – we’re just as careful as before Will contact with things. – Vaccine. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this.