CDC updates fully vaccinated travel guidelines

The CDC announces new changes for travel for those who are vaccinated. Photo courtesy of Suhyeon Chol on Unsplash.com

Written by: Chassidy R. Walworth  

“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.   

On April 2, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their travel advisory for those fully vaccinated against the prevalent COVID-19 virus. According to Walensky, fully vaccinated travelers are now considered “low risk” to themselves through flights and expenditures.  

Following are the updates to the CDC Travel Guidance: 

  • Those fully vaccinated do not need to get tested before and after travel, unless required by their destination. 
  • International travel coming into the United States requires a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding. 
  • Self-quarantine after travel is not required for fully vaccinated individuals. 
  • All travelers should continue to self-monitor COVID-19 symptoms after travel and quarantine if symptoms occur. 
  • A follow-up test 3-5 days after travel is still recommended for all individuals, both vaccinated and not.  

Those who are not fully vaccinated are still asked to avoid unnecessary travel expenditures, if possible. Those non-vaccinated are also required to get a viral COVID-19 test before and after all travel, both domestic and international, as well as self-quarantine for seven days.  

Spencer Rojas is a senior at SCSU, as well Peer Mentor for the Honors program and a Global Mentor for SCSU’s Education Abroad.

“I have been fully vaccinated as of two weeks ago,” said Rojas.

One is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving an FDA-authorized vaccine of either (1) both parts to a two-dose vaccine series (Pfitzer or Moderna), or (2) a single–dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen).  

Everyone aged 16 years and older is eligible to receive a vaccine in Minnesota as of March 30.

“We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives,” said CDC Director Walensky. “Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”

While fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract and spread the COVID-19 virus, traveling is still deemed a risk and increases the likelihood of contracting and spreading new variants of the virus. Being a Texas native, Rojas admits that he had to do some essential traveling over the last year.

“However, many college students with or without the vaccine traveled over break and I think that this travel correlates with the uptick in cases recently,” said Rojas.

The CDC recommends paying close attention to the variant concern in the country and area of destination before traveling.  

The CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated individuals still utilize all COVID-19 safety precautions to keep yourself and others safe. This includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing, and being cautious around those deemed high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

“I believe national and international travel will look different for a long time, just like with 9/11,” said Rojas.

With new scientific evidence coming out, additional changes to COVID-19 precautions and recommendations will be updated. However, this current change to the CDC Travel Guidance, though miniscule, highlights that we could potentially be one step closer to life outside of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following links to provide additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as provider locations for vaccination: 

 

Please note that if you have a pre-existing condition or take medications that could potentially lower your immune system, you may not be fully protected after being fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine. Caution should be taken, and it is recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider for specific instructions. 

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