Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people didn’t venture out and travelled in 2020. For some, this meant bonding with their family. For others, though, whose relatives live far away, it meant coping with being apart from them. Travel has become an essential part of modern life; it’s not just for people in business or those with loved ones in other places.
Tourism has boomed in recent decades, and after spending an entire year indoors, most people are enthusiastic about booking a trip to some exotic destination. However, what should you know before you go? Can you hop on a plane once you get the required vaccinations for travel? Keep reading to learn more about how travel will look like in the following years.
If I Get Vaccinated, Am I Free to Travel?
It’s important to note that the Canadian federal government still has an advisory against non-essential travel in place. It means even if quarantine rules have eased up for vaccinated persons, it’s still inadvisable for tourists and casual travellers to fly out of the country.
Unfortunately, the advisory might stay a while longer, with the delta variant causing surges of cases in at least 85 countries, including the U.S., Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, and more. People determined to fly despite the risks should still observe the minimum health protocols like physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face masks.
I Got Vaccinated. Can I Still Spread the Virus?
Research suggests that vaccination could reduce transmission, but there isn’t enough information on it yet. There is still a chance that a fully-inoculated person could pick up and spread the COVID-19 virus while they experience little to no symptoms.
While your vaccine prevents your hospitalization, you could still pass the virus to an unvaccinated person who might experience a severe infection. At present, researchers don’t know if COVID-19 vaccines have a strong surface antibody response. This type of antibody prevents viruses from "hitching a ride" and transferring from a vaccinated person to an unvaccinated one.
Can I Safely Travel After Two Shots of the Vaccine?
Travelling for tourism, business, or immigration needs vaccination, and you need to follow the proper procedures. If you get the jab today, for example, you need to wait at least 14 days before you fly. It is because you get the complete protection of the vaccine after two weeks.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require a primer and a booster dose, and until you have had both, you are not fully protected. In clinical trials of Pfizer-BioNTech, participants’ chances of getting an infection went down to approximately 52 percent.
The second dose raises the vaccine’s effectiveness to 95 percent. Meanwhile, Moderna has a 94.1 percent efficacy rate. Other vaccines available in the country are Janssen and AstraZeneca, with 66.9 and 60.3 percent efficacy rates, respectively.
I’m Vaccinated. Do I Still Need to Present a COVID-19 Test?
Vaccinated Canadian travellers are exempt from quarantine. However, they must still provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they board a flight to Canada. They must also take a second test upon arrival—the federal government pays for this test, but the traveller must be the one to shoulder the pre-arrival one. Fortunately, if you have proof of full vaccination and have a negative PCR test upon arrival, you do not need to self-quarantine.
Can I Travel With Children at This Time?
At present, there are no COVID-19 vaccines for children below 12 years of age. Researchers are still studying the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines on young people. So, if you plan on travelling with young children, keep in mind that they can still catch and spread the virus. Reduce the risk of transmission by having your child wear masks, practice good hygiene, and observe your destination country’s quarantine or physical distancing guidelines.
Though many people want to travel again, keep in mind that the vaccine isn’t an all-access pass that makes you invincible. The virus is still causing outbreaks worldwide, and the only way for it to slow down is if fewer people transmit it over time. If you’ve been vaccinated and need to travel, you can do so while minimizing risks. However, the best thing to do is defer all non-essential trips until more people get inoculated against the virus.
Trust Heritage IDA Pharmacy with your family’s healthcare and wellness needs. We provide travel vaccinations in Edmonton, preventing severe cases of COVID-19 infection for people who must fly out at this time. Call us today to book an appointment or learn more about your eligibility for the shot!