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A passenger wears a face mask during an airline flight after taking off from Atlanta. Photo: AP
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Fully vaccinated people can travel safely again, CDC says

23 Comments
By CANDICE CHOI

Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can safely enjoy again, according to new U.S. guidance issued Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterward.

Still, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged caution and said she would “advocate against general travel overall" given the rising number of infections.

“If you are vaccinated, it is lower risk,” she said.

According to the CDC, more than 100 million people in the U.S. — or about 30% of the population — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose.

The agency has said it would update its guidance on allowed activities for vaccinated people as more people get the shots and evidence mounts about the protection they provide.

Outside a San Francisco convention center, Kara Roche, a consultant with a tech company, welcomed the news after getting her second Pfizer shot.

“I’m thrilled that this summer there might be opportunities for us to go somewhere," she said.

Roche said she normally travels overseas for vacation at least twice a year. Since the pandemic started, she’s only traveled to Utah and Texas for work.

“I’ll still be cautious. I’m not looking to go on a cruise. I’m not looking to be in mass crowds and I’ll probably not go overseas," she said. “But absolutely, if it’s open and the CDC says we can do it, I’m looking forward to going somewhere in the states."

For people who haven't been fully vaccinated, the CDC is sticking to its recommendation to avoid unnecessary travel. If they do travel, the agency says to get tested one to three days before the trip, and three to five days after. People should also stay home and quarantine for seven days after travel, even if their COVID-19 test is negative, the agency says.

According to data through Thursday from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. is averaging 66,000 daily new cases this past week, up from 55,000 two weeks ago.

The new guidance says:

— Fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S., without getting tested for the coronavirus or quarantining. People should still wear a mask, socially distance and avoid crowds, the agency says.

— For international travel, the agency says vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before leaving, unless the destination country requires it.

— For travelers coming into the U.S., vaccinated people should still get a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight, and be tested three to five days after arrival. They do not need to quarantine. The agency noted the potential introduction of virus variants and differences in vaccine coverage around the world for the cautious guidance on overseas travel.

Already, air travel in the United States has been picking back up. Although traffic remains down by nearly half from a year ago, more than 1 million travelers daily have been going through U.S. airports in recent weeks.

“I was surprised that our flight was kind of full,” said Telva Aguilar, after arriving at Oakland airport from Southern California to visit her grandchildren on Friday.

Aguilar works in a hospital and has been vaccinated, but said she is still being cautious.

Airlines do not require COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination for travel in the U.S.; a few states have testing or quarantine rules for travelers.

The CDC cited recent research on the real-world effects of the vaccines for its updated guidance. Last month, the agency said fully vaccinated people could visit with each other indoors without wearing masks or social distancing. It also said vaccinated people could visit with unvaccinated people from a single household under similar conditions, as long as the unvaccinated individuals were at low risk for severe illness if infected.

The U.S. began its vaccine rollout in mid-December. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses given a few weeks apart. A one-shot vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was given the green light by regulators at the end of February.

Despite getting his second Pfizer shot on Friday, Mick Peacock, a fire inspector in San Francisco, isn’t planning on traveling anytime soon. If he and his wife do any traveling this year, he said they would rent an RV and hit the road.

“I think we all want a beach holiday right now but I don’t think it’s safe,” he said. “I don’t look at the numbers anymore, because we’ve all been looking at those numbers too long.”

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Qualified scientists warn that the vaccines don't stop transmission, they merely lower symptoms.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Qualified scientists warn that the vaccines don't stop transmission, they merely lower symptoms.

That is mistaken, the evidence demonstrate vaccines reduce not only symptoms but also the risk of transmitting the disease (and having complications, and dying). But that is also clearly written in the article, so your comment makes it seem as if you only read the headline.

The main point of having updated guidance is to reflect the best available science at the moment, obviously recommendations from a time where the evidence was not yet on hand are not something you can use to refute the new ones.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

The CDC always tell half a story. If you're vaccinated you can get Covid. Then you get to find out if the vaccine works. If it does, this is not like a light switch, the body's response takes time. During that duration you will "shed" Covid and can actively pass the virus on to others. The variants have much higher "shed" rate giving them greater opportunity to infect both vaccinated and unvaccinated hosts. In Michigan, currently they're seeing a very small number of individuals that have been vaccinated and now are being infected by the virus. The CDC never elaborates on issues like this because of their supercilious belief in the herd immunity model(s)...

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Qualified scientists warn that the vaccines don't stop transmission, they merely lower symptoms.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/real-world-data-shows-vaccines-kicking-butt-including-against-scary-variant/

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released real-world data showing that the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine and Moderna mRNA vaccine were, collectively, 90 percent effective at preventing infections in fully vaccinated health care, frontline, and essential workers.

...

“The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine’s overall effectiveness.”

Get protected. Get vaccinated. Ignore Burning Bush. Watch the science.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

FALSE: What a joke. When you think "vaccine" you think it will stop transmission, infection, hospitalization and death. But this couldn't be further from the truth.

according to Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer.

“I think we need to be careful, as we get vaccinated, not to over-interpret the results,” Zaks told Axios in a TV interview released Monday. “When we start the deployment of this vaccine, we will not have sufficient concrete data to prove that this vaccine reduces transmission.”

3/30/21 - Florida: 38 “fully vaccinated” people test positive for COVID-19 (months later after 2nd shot)

https://thecovidblog.com/2021/03/30/florida-38-fully-vaccinated-people-test-positive-for-covid-19/

Already know that these experimental and dangerous mRNA vaccines not FDA approved and ONLY approved for Emergency Use Authorization only:

DOES NOT prevent transmission

DOES NOT prevent infection

DOES NOT prevent hospitalization

DOES NOT prevent death (they will mark your death as COVID even if you are vaccinated)

Reduces cough and headache IF you contract COVID (Injectable Liquid Nyquil)

Not even helpful for these "variants" and pharma based medicine couldn't produce vaxxes fast enough to combat them (South African variant at 10% efficacy - joke)

Puts you at risk of negative adverse events and risk permanent disability, even death

US Government VAERS Data (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System - only about 1% actually reported) provided directly to CDC / FDA each week:

https://medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?TABLE=ON&GROUP1=CAT&EVENTS=ON&VAX=COVID1

UK Yellow Card Coronavirus Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting (GOV.UK):

Vaccine Analysis Profile - Pfizer/BioNTech

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964207/COVID-19_mRNA_Pfizer-_BioNTech_Vaccine_Analysis_Print_1.pdf

Vaccine Analysis Profile - Oxford University/AstraZeneca

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964208/COVID-19_AstraZeneca_Vaccine_Analysis_Print_2.pdf

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Fully vaccinated people can travel safely again, CDC says

yeah right. The cdc is a joke

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Looks like the J&J vaccine is the best of all, being the newest also. It has a 99.5% efficiency and also requires just 1 shot.

Maybe Japan should approve that instead of those double shots crappy vaccines with a lot of side effects and low efficiency.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Antivaxxers are desperate by now, every one of their terrible predictions failed and the vaccines have demonstrated to be safe and effective. And against the evidence they have nothing to defend their mistakes.

The vaccine demonstrate scientifically to be very effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, transmission and death? they will ask you to believe they are not, based on absolutely no data whatsoever, just the "professional" opinion of a nameless person on the internet.

Are the vaccines safe? they will try to mislead people presenting only HALF of the necessary information, putting only the VAERS problems but desperately hiding that the non-vaccinated population have the same rates of every important problem, which means the vaccines are completely unrelated.

And if you refute all of these misleading points they have no capacity (nor evidence) to defend even one, so their counterargument? just copy-paste more misleading information thinking they can fool people with volume of nonsense instead of accurate information. Fortunately this is not working anymore.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Qualified scientists warn that the vaccines don't stop transmission, they merely lower symptoms.

No, vaccinated people halts the replication of the virus in their body, hence lowering the transmission to almost nothing.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Maybe Japan should approve that instead of those double shots crappy vaccines with a lot of side effects and low efficiency.

Of course. Maybe next year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People should only ever get vaccinated for medical reasons and definitely NOT to get their freedoms back.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

People should only ever get vaccinated for medical reasons and definitely NOT to get their freedoms back.

You need a selling point for those who would refuse

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

People should only ever get vaccinated for medical reasons and definitely NOT to get their freedoms back.

Sure, and people should not be able to endanger others with irrational refusals, but some people still choose higher risks for themselves and others, people are free to make demonstrably wrong choices, but then they have to deal with the consequences of their decisions.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Neowave. You are a danger to yourself and those others around you.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@virusrex

Glad to have someone both so knowledgeable and very sensible to scientifically moderate these comments/discussions. Being a educated science professional myself, and unemployed for much of the Pandemic, I’ve spent an almost obsessive amount of time trying to stay on top of international COVID research and avoiding most large media outlets.

You are always spot on with your facts, and I agree with your interpretation & commentary 80-90% of the time you post (in retrospect 95% of the time). Thank you for contributing to these discussions on behalf of everyone here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@theFu

Thanks for posting that Arstechnica story. The Author, Beth Mole, has a Phd in Microbiology. Her stories are super well sourced and better grounded in science than 90% of the stuff out there.

The one thing I do think needs more attention is people who get vaccinated tend to think they are instantly safe. There are studies that show people start getting careless in the first 8 days.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Looks like the J&J vaccine is the best of all, being the newest also. It has a 99.5% efficiency and also requires just 1 shot.

Maybe Japan should approve that instead of those double shots crappy vaccines with a lot of side effects and low efficiency.

I am sorry to say that you did not actually check real data. J&J is only 66% efficient, although it has been checked in wave 2 in many countries. However, it uses the same technology(viral vector) using modified DNA, as the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine which has the most side effects. The mRNA so far has been the most successful and fewer side effects out of all that have been released in the world. Yes, there is a question of future/long-term side effects ... but only time could answer.

So for now vaccine is the only way we can fight this family of viruses.

PS: Tho' it was not breaking news, they just made a 99% efficient vaccine for animals. This is huge, as it could prevent future mutation of the virus. Sadly very little press coverage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MMMMMMMM NOT SAFE YET.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

My spouse and I have had both shots, and the feeling of relief is palpable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The vaccine demonstrate scientifically to be very effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, transmission and death?

If that was true, why are they only approved for emergency use? Certainly, if they were so safe and effective, they should be able to get regular FDA approval.

Are the vaccines safe? they will try to mislead people presenting only HALF of the necessary information, putting only the VAERS problems but desperately hiding that the non-vaccinated population have the same rates of every important problem, which means the vaccines are completely unrelated.

... and also omit to mention that one big problem with VAERS is that generally only about 1% of adverse effects are ever reported.

Regarding safety. We do not yet know the long term effects of these vaccines. Once you get injected, you cannot later have them take it out...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If that was true, why are they only approved for emergency use? Certainly, if they were so safe and effective, they should be able to get regular FDA approval.

And what makes you think they will not get it? after all the vaccine has already got approved in places like Japan, where the requirements are even higher.

.. and also omit to mention that one big problem with VAERS is that generally only about 1% of adverse effects are ever reported.

Because death is something that can easily skip the mind? obviously not, minor, non-important side effects are those that are not reported, pain, malaise, feeling tired.

But still they are reported much more than in the normal population. Who do you think would report having a brief shoulder stifness? the person that got a vaccine on that arm the day before or the person that has been living his normal life without anything special?

Regarding safety. We do not yet know the long term effects of these vaccines. Once you get injected, you cannot later have them take it out...

And still we already know they are safer than the infection, because they have not produced any increase of important problems (nor there is any mechanism that could make the vaccine specifically produce them) while the natural infection is already confirmed to produce short, medium, long and permanent problems in infected people (and those that are expected to be identified in the future). Vaccination is the only logical choice especially if you want to consider long term problems

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If that was true, why are they only approved for emergency use? Certainly, if they were so safe and effective, they should be able to get regular FDA approval.

And what makes you think they will not get it? after all the vaccine has already got approved in places like Japan,

But even in Japan, it is still for emergency use.

I guess vulnerable people might feel it is an emergency and choose to take it. For most of us, this is not an emergency.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But even in Japan, it is still for emergency use.

But approved, and safe to use according to all available information. There is no reason to expect this is going to be rescinded in any way.

It is hard for people that only consider their own importance to understand it, but actually many people are interested in being immunized to increase public health in general and to help protect others and their way of make a living. Anything that safely and efficiently can help doing it is something that this kind of people want to adopt as soon as possible.

Fortunately less considerate people that cannot understand the science are a minority.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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