• Jenn Strang

Have Vaccine, Will Travel

When was the last time you packed your suitcase? Do you even know where your suitcase is right now? Whether business requires the presence of a real, live person or it’s simply time to hit the road again, a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will help us get back in our planes, trains and automobiles.

Vaccine 4-1-1

Currently in the U.S., there are two FDA-approved vaccines available. Produced by Pfizer and Moderna, both vaccines use the same messenger RNA technology. Each is administered in two doses approximately two weeks apart. The Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy rate is approximately 95%, Moderna’s rate is 94.1%. Other vaccines currently under development by Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson have yet to gain FDA-approval.

Off to a Slow Start

In some parts of the country, it might feel like your chances of winning the lottery are better than getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) sets eligibility guidance, but each state can determine its own guidelines, which has led to some confusion. Vaccine rollout began in December 2020 and quickly stumbled due supply chain issues and slow distribution. The new administration is working to remedy the situation and it appears the pace is picking up.

Waiting game

Don’t pack your bags just yet. Building up antibodies takes time. The first dose of the vaccine acts as a primer to your immune system so you’ll only have about a 50% immunity afterwards. Once you’ve received your second booster dose, it takes up to two weeks for the full effects to kick in. Length of immunity is unknown, and researchers continue to watch if the virus is transmitted by vaccinated individuals.

Status Quo for Now

Remember, the vaccine is 95% effective, so you still should take proper precautions, especially when traveling. Some of these are mandatory, anyway. Mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing remain your first line of defense to prevent the spread of the virus at home and abroad. With conditions rapidly changing around the globe, be sure to stay abreast of new or developing travel restrictions before departure and throughout your stay. Currently, air passengers entering the U.S. must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days prior to boarding — including those who have been vaccinated.

After nearly 12 months of being cooped up, itchy feet abound. But hope appears to be on the horizon. With some patience and good humor, we’ll once again be rolling our eyes at the guy who forgot to remove his belt before going through the scanner.

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