Travel Vaccine Breaking News

Travel vaccine breaking news brought to you by Vax Before Travel.

Aug 10, 2022 • 2:58 pm CDT
U.S. CDC

The worldwide risk of contracting the Dengue virus continues into the second half of 2022. As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reissued various Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions advisories to notify international travelers.

On August 9, 2022, the U.S. CDC issued advisories for dengue risks in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.

The CDC says the countries listed in these advisories report higher-than-usual numbers of dengue cases, and travelers visiting these countries may be at increased risk.

And in the USA, 183 dengue cases have been reported this year, and Puerto Rico has confirmed 128 dengue cases in 2022.

Dengue can become severe within a few hours.

The CDC says that severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization.

In severe cases, health effects can include hemorrhage, shock, organ failure, and death. 

Because mosquito bites spread dengue, all travelers to risk areas should prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned room or room with window screens or under an insecticide-treated bed net.

While the U.S. FDA and other countries have approved the Dengvaxia vaccine, its utility is limited given pre-vaccination diagnostic testing requirements.

Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV) is a live attenuated tetravalent chimeric vaccine made using recombinant DNA technology.

Additional dengue vaccine information is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Dengue.

Aug 7, 2022 • 12:33 pm CDT
by Manuel de la Fuente

The President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, recently confirmed that proof of COVID-19 vaccination and wearing face masks are no longer mandatory to enter the Central American country, local media reported on August 5, 2022.

And, Costa Rica will stop requiring a health insurance policy for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

These changes come after almost 93% of Costa Ricans had their first dose and 10% a fourth dose, according to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.

President Chaves announced these pending changes in May 2022.

And the U.S. CDC no longer requires air passengers traveling from Costa Rica to the Us to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

However, the CDC suggests several travel vaccines to protect people before visiting Costa Rica.

And from a security perspective, the U.S. Department of State maintains a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, travel advisory for Costa Rica.

As of April 19, 2022, the advisory says, 'While petty crime is the predominant threat for tourists in Costa Rica, violent crime occurs in Costa Rica, and the local government provides additional security resources in areas frequented by tourists.'

If Americans need assistance, the U.S. Embassy San Jose is located at Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas, San José, Costa Rica - Phone: (506) 2519-2000.

Note: Costa Rica has recently confirmed local cases of the monkeypox virus.

Aug 7, 2022 • 10:04 am CDT
TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) recently hosted a swearing-in ceremony to welcome the newest and youngest officer into their ranks when 10-year-old Devarjave "DJ" Daniel recited the 'employee oath of office.'

Devarjaye "DJ" Daniel is battling terminal brain and spine cancer with a dream of being a police officer.

Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement and Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Supervisor George Ramos, flanked by TSA/FAMS Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team members, swore in DJ into his 662nd law enforcement agency.

The room erupted into cheers and laughter after DJ gave George a big hug and asked, "Want to hear a joke?"

DJ enjoys telling jokes and giving firm handshakes and hugs, all of which he did on August 2, 2022. 

Following the swearing-in, DJ worked IAH airport security screening operations as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO).

He welcomed travelers, reviewed travel documents, and under the watchful eye of his supervisory TSO, inspected identification cards under blue light to validate authenticity.

DJ never missed an opportunity to tell a joke or offer a firm handshake or hug to brighten a traveler's day. 

Note: This TSA announcement was manually curated for travelers. As of August 6, 2022, the TSA's overall airport security activity remains about 90% when compared to 2019.

Aug 6, 2022 • 4:42 pm CDT
TSA

According to the latest results from the Henley Passport Index, Japan holds the number one spot on the Index according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa, with a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 193.

While Singapore and South Korea tied for 2nd place with a score of 192 in the Index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

EU member states dominate the rest of the top ten spots on the latest ranking, with Germany and Spain in joint-3rd place, with access to 190 destinations visa-free.

Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg follow closely behind in joint-4th place with 189 destinations.

And Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden share 5th place with their passport holders able to travel to 188 destinations worldwide without a visa.

The UK and the USA have dropped to 6th and 7th, respectively.

But despite the unprecedented worldwide access afforded to the citizens of these nations over the Index's 17-year history, international passenger demand in the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 17% of pre-Covid levels, according to IATA's latest statistics.

While the European and North American markets have recovered to around 60% of pre-crisis travel mobility levels.

Commenting in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q3, Dr. Marie Owens Thomsen, Chief Economist at IATA, says passenger numbers should reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

"By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024."

As of August 5, 2022, the U.S. TSA checkpoint travel activity numbers indicate travel had recovered to about 90% of 2019 volume.

The U.S. State Department frequently publishes Travel Advisories to inform international travelers of each country's situation. 

And if a citizen of a foreign country seeks to enter the U.S., they need to obtain a U.S. visa.

Additionally, local U.S. Embassies offer local insights and services to American citizens. Updated FAQs about U.S. passport operations are found on the State Department webpage.

Note: This research was manually curated for mobile travelers.

Aug 6, 2022 • 2:22 pm CDT
Image by S K

The U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, recently confirmed the government of France had ended all COVID-related entry requirements for France. As of August 1, 2022, visitors no longer require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter France. 

In addition, the health/vaccine pass has been eliminated for all locations. 

Furthermore, masking requirements were also removed. But French authorities highly recommend face masks for public transportation and entry into medical facilities.

As a reminder, U.S. vaccine requirements remain in place for non-U.S. citizens and non-green card holders traveling to the USA from France. 

This includes spouses and children of U.S. citizens, who must still meet the vaccination requirements.

Since March 2022, the "vaccine pass" was lifted in France in all areas previously required (cultural and leisure venues, commercial catering, professional trade shows, etc.). 

In addition to COVID-19 concerns, the U.S. CDC has issued travel advisories related to Europe's monkeypox outbreak and suggests visitors to France ensure they are protected against various infectious diseases such as hepatitis and polio.

The U.S. Department of State reissued its Level 2 Travel Advisory for France on July 27, 2022, saying demonstrations in Paris and other major cities throughout France occur regularly.

Most demonstrations in Paris are peaceful, but some have included violence and property damage, including looting and arson, with reckless disregard for public safety.

In case of an emergency, the U.S. Embassy Paris, France telephone number is +33 (1) 43 12 22 22, and email: [email protected].

Or, enroll in the Smart Traveler Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Note: The U.S. government information was manually curated for international travelers.

Aug 6, 2022 • 1:48 pm CDT
US CDC

Following the declaration of the monkeypox virus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO in late July 2022, persons with compatible symptoms, diagnosed cases, and persons considered close contacts of infected people, Spain's Health Ministry advised not to travel.

Spanish health authorities and community groups are struggling to check an outbreak that has already claimed the lives of two young men who reportedly died of encephalitis.

As of August 6, 2022, data sources indicate Spain has had 4,942 confirmed cases since the start of the MPX outbreak in early May 2022.

Spain says that 80% of its cases are among men who have sex with men, and only 1.5% are women, reported VOA.

Spain has distributed about 5,000 doses of the two-shot Jynneos vaccine to health clinics and expects to receive 7,000 more from the European Union in the coming days, its health ministry confirmed.

To alert international travelers of their monkeypox risks, the U.S. CDC issued an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions notice for Spain in June 2022.

The CDC says monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the MPXV.

People usually become infected with the MPXV through contact with the skin lesions or bodily fluids of infected animals or humans or through contact with contaminated materials.

As of June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the USA was rescinded.

However, the CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizens and nonimmigrants to travel to the USA from Spain remains in effect.

Note: This information was manually curated for mobile readership.

Aug 2, 2022 • 4:23 pm CDT
by Michelle Raponi

The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) recently announced the second local case of dengue infection in 2022.

As of July 29, 2022, the greater Miami, Florida area remains under a mosquito-borne illness advisory.

The Florida Department of Health continues conducting statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses.

Florida's southern neighbor Puerto Rico has reported over 100 local dengue cases this year.

Dengue is a virus spread to humans by Aedes mosquitoes which can also spread chikungunya and Zika viruses.

Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. Those that do develop symptoms typically recover after about one week.

Severe dengue can occur, resulting in shock, internal bleeding, and death.

While there is a U.S. FDA-approved dengue vaccine known as Dengvaxia, it has limited availability in the USA.

Before administering Dengvaxia, diagnostic testing is encouraged by the U.S. CDC.

As of July 20, 2022, the World Health Organization and the FDA recommend dengue vaccines should be given to persons with confirmed prior dengue virus infection.

This is because preexisting cross-reactive antibodies have been implicated in the protection and pathogenesis of subsequent infections with 1 of the four dengue virus serotypes. 

Additional dengue vaccine news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Dengue.

Aug 1, 2022 • 3:46 pm CDT
by Fernando Zhiminaicela

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced that poliovirus was detected in Rockland County, NY, in wastewater samples collected in June 2022.

As part of ongoing surveillance efforts, New York wastewater samples are shared with the Global Polio Laboratory Network, which confirmed that the case in Rockland County is genetically linked to two Sabin-like type 2 (SL2) isolates collected from samples in Israel as well as to the recently-detected VDPV2 from environmental samples in London, UK.

New Yorkers should know that this does not imply that the individual case identified in New York has a travel history to Israel or the UK.

NYSDOH stated on August 1, 2022, that it continues to work with global, national, and local public health authorities to aggressively assess the spread of the poliovirus and ensure prevention measures, particularly vaccination clinics, are activated.

Rockland County currently has a polio vaccination rate of about 60% among two-year-olds compared to the statewide average of 79.1% in NY.

Polio is a severe and life-threatening disease, says the U.S. CDC.

The poliovirus is very contagious; individuals can transmit it even if they aren't sick.

Symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like, can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can be shedding the virus to others.

Some polio cases can result in paralysis or death.

While there is no treatment or cure for polio, it is preventable through safe and effective vaccination.

Any form of poliovirus anywhere in the world threatens children everywhere, says the WHO. 

It is critical that the GPEI Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026 is fully resourced and fully implemented to ensure a world free of all forms of poliovirus.

The CDC encourages pre-departure vaccinations for people visiting polio-endemic countries.

Polio vaccination news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.

Note: The NY announcement was manually curated for international travelers.

Jul 31, 2022 • 3:04 pm CDT
Image by Pexels

When the Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, erupted on July 23, 2022, the local Meteorological Agency raised the alert level to its highest degree (#5).

Volcanic stones fell up to 2.5 kilometers from the volcano, and plums streamed high in the sky.

And the local government immediately called for an evacuation of residents within 3 kilometers of the volcano.

To notify international travelers of this event, the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan published a message to U.S. citizens on July 25, 2022, advising them to monitor local media and the Japan Meteorological Agency website for official orders and precautions. 

Additionally, the U.S. CDC issued a Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel, that stated 'is an ongoing risk of further volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and toxic explosions.'

'Serious health concerns after a volcanic eruption include respiratory illnesses, suffocation, burns, injuries from ashfall and collapsed structures, infectious diseases, and vehicle accidents related to the conditions caused by ash.'

'If you feel sick during or after travel, seek medical care immediately.'

'And tell your healthcare provider about your trip, including contact with volcanic ash.'

And, 'Travelers should avoid all nonessential travel to Kagoshima prefecture. If you must, obey all instructions from local authorities.'

Furthermore, before visiting this area, the U.S. Department of State suggested joining the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security updates and information about emergency assistance, if needed.

Earlier this year, on April 18, 2022, the CDC issued a Level 3 Alert that stated, 'Make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Japan.'

'If you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to Japan.'

Since then, Japan has been experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Note: These government announcements were manually curated for travelers.

Jul 31, 2022 • 2:22 pm CDT
by F. Muhammad

A leading visa processing provider says visa application volumes between January and May 2022 grew by more than 100% compared to the same period last year.

Chris Dix of VFS Global stated in a press release on July 19, 2022, "With the opening of international borders, easing of travel restrictions, and the resumption of regular international flights, the industry is currently witnessing peak revenge-travel." 

"For example, India's visa applications are averaging more than 20,000 per day as we head into their July–August holiday season."

"These numbers include travelers visiting Canada, Europe, and the UK, along with other popular destinations."

"We also expect an extended summer travel season this year with planned international trips stretching to September 2022."

Commenting in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q3, Dr. Marie Owens Thomsen, Chief Economist at IATA, says, "By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024."

In the USA, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported on July 30, 2022, that airport activity is operating at about 89% of the activity seen in 2019.

Since June 1, 2022, TSA has screened an average of 2.27 million people daily, a 16% increase over last year's volumes.

But an 11% decrease from pre-pandemic 2019 levels when TSA screened approximately 2.56 million people on average per day.

So far in July 2022, TSA saw a surge in the number of people screened and anticipates sustained travel volumes throughout the summer.

Note: This information was translated and manually curated for international travelers.

Jul 31, 2022 • 10:38 am CDT
U.S. CDC

The global monkeypox outbreak has impacted many countries, but none as much as Spain. International data sources indicate Spain leads all countries reporting fatalities related to the monkeypox virus (MPXV).

Spain's health ministry reported its second monkeypox-related death on July 30, 2022.

The ministry confirmed both fatalities were young men, reported the AP.

In addition to Spain, Brazil and India have each reported (1) MPXV-related fatality.

"The notification of deaths due to monkeypox does not change our assessment of the outbreak in Europe. Although the disease is self-limiting in most cases, monkeypox can cause severe complications," said Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO Europe, reported NPR.

"With the continued spread of monkeypox in Europe, we expect more deaths. Our goal is to interrupt transmission quickly in Europe and stop this outbreak."

Madrid was one of the European cities to initially confirm MPXV cases in mid-May 2022.

Worldwide, Spain only trails the USA (5,189) in reported MPXV cases with 4,386.

As of July 31, 2022, Spain endorses at-risk individuals to receive the Jynneos (IMVANEX®) vaccine to prevent MPXV infections.

News reports indicate Spanish health authorities are administering about 5,300 Imvanex vaccines from the recent joint EU purchase.

Earlier in the outbreak, Spain was identified in the U.S. CDC's Level 2 Travel Advisory regarding the MPXV outbreak issued on June 2, 2022.

Additional monkeypox outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.

Note: This information was manually curated for international travelers. 

Jul 30, 2022 • 1:46 pm CDT
U.S. CDC

To notify international travelers of their potential poliovirus risks when visiting Africa, the U.S. CDC recently reissued its Aler, Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions on July 27, 2022.

The CDC stated, 'Some international destinations in Africa are considered high-risk for polio.'

Before traveling to these destinations, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the entire routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.

Furthermore, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series before traveling abroad.

While polio has been eradicated in the USA for decades, a few polio cases have been confirmed in people who traveled to certain countries. The CDC has identified countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe during 2022.

For example, an unvaccinated man returned to Rockland County, NY, infected with polio in July 2022.

The NY state patient reportedly contracted a form of polio that can be traced back to the live, but weakened, poliovirus used in the oral polio vaccine (OPV).

Following the detection, the Global Polio Laboratory Network confirmed that the VDPV2 isolated from the NY case is genetically linked to two Sabin-like type 2 isolates collected from environmental samples in early June in both New York and Israel.

As well as the recently-detected VDPV2 from environmental samples in London.

The CDC says that polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that affects the nervous system.

Because the virus that causes polio lives in the feces of an infected person, people infected with polio can spread it when they do not wash their hands well after defecating.

People can also be infected if they drink water contaminated with infected feces.

This scenario recently became a reality in the London, England, area in July 2022, when poliovirus was identified in wastewater samples.

Most people with polio do not feel sick.

In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function. Furthermore, polio can be fatal if the muscles used for breathing are paralyzed or if there is an infection of the brain, says the CDC.

The good news is polio is a vaccine-preventable disease.

While different polio vaccines are offered in various countries, most have proved effective. However, the OPV has not been used in the USA since 2000. 

In the USA, the IPOL vaccine is readily available.

Furthermore, certified travel clinics and pharmacies offer pre-departure travel vaccine counseling and vaccination services.

Other polio vaccine news is posted at this link.

Note: The CDC alert was manually curated for international travelers.

Jul 28, 2022 • 5:20 pm CDT
by Gerd Altmann

The U.S. Department of State recently issued a statement confirming the United States is committed to partnering with the people of Central America to strengthen democracy, improve the rule of law, and combat corruption.

And on July 21, 2022, the State Department commented, 'The citizens of Central America deserve and expect governments that respect their human rights, abide by the rule of law, and create conditions for individuals and communities to flourish.'

To alert visitors of potential risks, the State Department reissued Level 3: Reconsider Travel Advisories for the countries of El Salvador and Honduras. 

In Honduras, the State Department says, 'do not travel to Gracias a Dios Department due to crime.'

The U.S. government has 'limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Gracias a Dios as U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to the area.'

U.S. citizens can get assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa when visiting Honduras.

In El Salvador, areas witnessing higher crime rates are often located near lower crime areas or must be crossed when moving between locations.

And local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

However, the concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas.

When visiting Central America, the State Department suggests enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

It is a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad easily register their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

From a health perspective, the U.S. CDC recently issued travel notices regarding COVID-19 outbreaks and the spreading of the dengue virus by mosquitoes in these countries.

Travel vaccine suggestions are posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/disease.

Note: The government's information was manually curated for international travelers.

Jul 27, 2022 • 6:10 am CDT
U.S. CDC

Peru's National Health Institute Director Victor Suarez confirmed the country is experiencing "community transmission" of the monkeypox virus, with 203 cases detected in 2022. 

TeleSur reported on July 26, 2022, that this monkeypox outbreak is concentrated in Lima and its neighboring province of Callao.

Most of those infected are men, about thirty-five years of age.

Peru's initial monkeypox patient was confirmed on June 26, 2022, and lives in Lima's Pueblo Libre district.

On July 1, 2022, Peru's government announced that the samples sequenced belong to the West African clade of monkeypox, whose lethality is lower (1%) compared to the Central African clade (3%).

To notify international travelers of their monkeypox risks, the U.S. CDC issued an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, that included Peru on June 2, 2022.

Additionally, the CDC has issued COVID-19 and Dengue alerts for Peru in 2022.

Other monkeypox outbreak news is posted on this weblink.

Note: This news was manually curated for mobile readership.

Jul 26, 2022 • 1:06 pm CDT
by Simon Bardet

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reissued a Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions alert for the ongoing rabies outbreak in Haiti.

On July 19, 2022. the CDC stated cases of rabies in dogs had been reported in the area of Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince.

It is rare but possible for people to get rabies from scratches or contamination of open wounds, abrasions, or mucous membranes. 

The CDC suggests visitors should avoid all contact with dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, seek immediate medical attention for all animal bites, and consider getting vaccinated against rabies before traveling abroad.

These people should receive rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a series of rabies vaccine doses given before coming into contact with the rabies virus.

Check if the rabies PrEP vaccination is recommended for your intended destination at this CDC weblink.

The rabies vaccine is given in two shots. The second dose is offered seven days after the first dose.

Even if you are vaccinated against rabies, if you are bitten by an animal that may have rabies while traveling, you need to seek medical care immediately and get two booster doses of the vaccine.

According to the CDC, rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system.

Without appropriate medical care, rabies causes brain disease and death.

Almost 60,000 people around the world die from rabies each year, says the World Health Organization.

In the USA, human fatalities are rare but typically occur in people who do not seek prompt medical care.

While the exact reason for not seeking care is often unclear, lack of awareness of the risk of rabies is thought to be an essential factor.

In the United States, rabies is primarily found in wild animals like bats, followed by foxes and raccoons.

This is of particular concern since bat bites are often unnoticed as the marks that are the size of the tip of a pencil.

Additional U.S. FDA-approved rabies vaccine news is posted at Vax-Before-travel.com/Rabies.

Note: The CDC information was manually curated for international travelers.