Travel Vaccine Breaking News

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

May 6, 2021 • 10:04 am CDT

The European CDC published updated maps on May 6, 2021, supporting the Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel measures in the European Union (EU).

These color-code maps are based on data reported by the EU Member States to The European Surveillance System database every Tuesday.

As of week 2021-17, 692,446 deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in the EU/EEA.

The EU Member States adopted a Council Recommendation in October 2020 on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The right of Europeans to move and reside freely within the EU is one of the most cherished achievements of the EU and an important driver of its economy.

While the measures are intended to safeguard the citizens, they have had serious consequences for the economy and citizens’ rights.

To limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, the EU’s 27 Member States have adopted various measures, such as requirements to undergo quarantine or take a coronavirus test.

Given the difficult epidemiological situation linked to more infectious coronavirus variants, Member States should strongly discourage all non-essential travel to and from ‘dark red’ countries on the map and discourage all such travel to and from ‘red’ areas. Due to the measures applied to such travel, this difference is said the EC on May 6, 2021.

 

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May 6, 2021 • 7:45 am CDT

The Japanese government intends to extend the ongoing State of Emergency in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hyogo, and the Osaka area. The COVID-19 emergency will be expanded to Aichi and Fukuoka, reported KyodoNews today.

Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike informed news reporters the COVID-19 outbreak had not improved enough to lift the restrictions. Tokyo continues to report the majority of COVID-19 cases. The updated guidelines are posted in Japanese.

The current State of Emergency launched on April 25th, 2021, and was scheduled to end on May 11th, 2021.

On May 6th, Japan's government reported two passengers who arrived at the airport were quarantined with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and 27 asymptomatic pathogen carriers were also identified.

The status of the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer has recently become an issue in Japan, with polls showing most residents (72%) favoring either postponement or cancellation.

May 5, 2021 • 3:31 pm CDT

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 2 Travel Alert on May 3, 2021, confirming vaccine-derived polio outbreaks in many countries in Africa. 

The CDC's 'Practice Enhanced Precaution' Alert recommends that all travelers to these African countries be vaccinated fully against polio.

Since 2000, the inactivated polio vaccine is most often given in the USA, says the CDC.

Poliovirus outbreaks have been reported in the following African countries (map). And, before traveling to these countries, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.

Although wild-type polio was eradicated in Africa in 2020, vaccine-derived poliovirus can cause outbreaks in low vaccination areas. The Polio vaccine protects against both wild-type and vaccine-derived poliovirus infection. 

To learn more about vaccine-derived polio, visit this CDC webpage.

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May 5, 2021 • 1:26 pm CDT

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated recommendations for fully vaccinated travelers on April 27, 2021. The CDC says, 'When you are eligible, get vaccinated for COVID-19 at least two weeks before your trip.'

There are benefits to following this COVID-19 vaccination advice.

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before travel or test or self-quarantine after travel unless their destination requires it.

And if you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19: Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.

And make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the USA.

The CDC lists various destination statuses on this webpage. And travel vaccines are listed here.

Furthermore, before you arrive in the USA, air passengers, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the USA.

As of May 4, 2021, the U.S. TSA airport checkpoint data indicates overall travel in the USA has been consistent for several weeks.

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May 3, 2021 • 9:09 pm CDT

According to a press statement issued by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Australian Government implemented a temporary pause on travelers from India entering Australian territory if the person has been in India within 14 days of the person’s departure time.

An estimated 9,000 Australians are in India, 600 of whom are classed as vulnerable, reported the BBC.

The pause came into effect on Monday, May 3, 2021, in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The temporary pause will be reconsidered on May 15th by the Government following advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

The risk assessment that informed the decision was based on the proportion of overseas travelers in quarantine in Australia who has acquired a COVID-19 infection in India.

Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years’ imprisonment, or both.

The Australian Govt. confirmed on May 1, 2021, offered to supply India with a significant package of personal protective equipment, including one million surgical masks, 500,000 P2/N95 masks, and 100,000 surgical gowns, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves, and 20,000 face shields. And more than 1,000 non-invasive ventilators, with a capacity to deploy up to a total of 3,000 ventilators.

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May 3, 2021 • 3:22 pm CDT

Situated in the Arabian Sea a few hundred miles southwest of India, the Republic of Maldives has something to offer every vacationer, including plenty of island adventures. 

The good news for future visitors, effective April 20, 2021, the current requirement for negative PCR test and mandatory Quarantine does not apply for travelers who present proof of completion of Vaccination (approved COVID-19 vaccines only) followed by the completion of 14 days period before arrival in the Maldives.

However, everyone traveling to and from the Maldives must submit a self-declarative health declaration within 24 hours before their departure to the Maldives. The test result needs to be submitted through the IMUGA portal.

And new visitors should expect to undergo thermal screening upon arrival in the Maldives and are encouraged to download the contact tracing app "TraceEkee."

Scheduling an all-day flight from the USA to the Maldives is getting easier when using the Google Flights tool to filter flight options based on your needs.

Upon returning to the USA, the latest U.S. CDC requirements say Americans age 2 and up will need to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure of their return flight to gain re-entry into the USA.

Moreover, since the Maldives offers visitors plenty of island fun, the CDC suggests routine vaccinations before every trip. Some of these vaccines include Chickenpox, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Influenza, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, and Polio.

May 3, 2021 • 12:34 pm CDT

Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista arrived at the Port of Galveston on May 2, 2021, anticipating a 'cruise rally' to discuss the economic impact of the 14-month pause in operations in Texas. Galveston port and community officials, as well as local business leaders, will be in attendance.

Carnival President Christine Duffy and Galveston Mayor Dr. Craig Brown will be among the event speakers hosted by the Federal Maritime Commission, which will be represented by Commissioners Louis E. Sola and Carl W. Bentzel.

“Everybody’s ready,” Wharves Board of Trustees Chairman Albert Shannon commented on April 28, 2021. “We’ve got a lot of people ready to go back to work.”

The Port of Galveston is the fourth most popular cruise homeport in North America and the only cruise port in Texas.

Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from Galveston in 2000 and is the only cruise operator with three year-round ships based at the Port of Galveston, carrying roughly 750,000 guests annually. Galveston’s cruise business generates $1.6 billion in expenditures annually and 27,000 jobs statewide.

However, new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate the ships won’t be there to pick up passengers anytime soon.

On April 2, 2021, CDC released a new Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters.

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May 3, 2021 • 12:12 pm CDT

A new study published by The Lancet on April 30, 2021, reviewed data comparing the effects of fractional Vs. Full-dose inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) vaccination to determine when seroconversion proportions with each strategy become similar in children aged 5 years and younger.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis from 16 databases, these researchers concluded 'There is no substantial difference in seroconversion between three doses of fractional-IPV and three doses of full-dose IPV.

However, the full dosage empowers higher titers of antibodies for poliovirus type 1, 2, and 3.

On April 28, 2021, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported additional African, Middle East, and Asia countries are confirming new polio cases during 2021.

Since 2000, IPV is most often given in the USA, which seldom confirms local polio cases.

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May 3, 2021 • 7:34 am CDT

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced 'Today marks the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu.

This Ebola outbreak re-emerged in February 2021, came nine months after the 11th outbreak in the same province was declared over.

Eleven confirmed cases and one probable case, six deaths, and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones in North Kivu since 7 February when the Ministry of Health announced the resurgence of Ebola in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province and one of the hotspots of the 2018–2020 outbreak.

This Ebola outbreak is the DRC's fourth in less than three years.

The 2018–2020 Ebola outbreak was the 10th in the DRC and the country’s deadliest, with 3,481 cases, 2,299 deaths, and 1,162 survivors. The country also experienced its 11th outbreak, which took place in Equateur Province last year.

Results from genome sequencing conducted by the DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research found that the first Ebola case detected in the outbreak was linked to the previous outbreak. Still, the source of infection is yet to be determined.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Direct for Africa, commented in a WHO press statement, “Although the outbreak has ended, we must stay alert for possible resurgence and at the same time use the growing expertise on emergency response to address other health threats the country faces.”

Currently, there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak in Guinea, which began in February 2021.

There are Approved and experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments listed on this webpage.

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Apr 30, 2021 • 2:51 pm CDT

The US administration is expected to impose additional travel restrictions on India starting May 4, 2021, in response to a significant outbreak of COVID-19, reported Reuters late on April 30, 2021.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on April 19, 2021, 'travelers should avoid all travel to India. Because of the current situation in  India, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India.'

'If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.'

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccination, the CDC says, 'Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before visiting India. Some of these vaccines include Chickenpox, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Influenza, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, and Polio.

These vaccines, in addition to travel vaccines, are available at most travel clinics in the USA.

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Apr 30, 2021 • 1:21 pm CDT

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that residents of Central Oregon can make an appointment now to enroll in TSA PreCheck® at Roberts Field - Redmond Municipal Airport. Enrollment will be offered for five consecutive days starting Monday, May 10, 2021.

People are strongly encouraged to begin the enrollment process online. Start by visiting www.tsa.gov/precheck and select “Apply Now.” 

People can “Travel with Ease” and experience a smoother screening process at airports across the country by enrolling in TSA PreCheck. Eligible travelers do not need to remove shoes, belts, light outerwear, laptops, electronics larger than a cell phone, or travel-size liquids from carry-on luggage.

In March 2021, 98% of travelers eligible for TSA PreCheck waited just five minutes or less to be screened at airports nationwide.

Another benefit of the TSA PreCheck program is that children 12 and under are permitted to use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with an eligible parent or guardian on the same itinerary.

As travelers return to airports across the USA, security line delays may increase. As of April 29, 2021, about 1.3 million travelers were screen each day last week by TSA.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th Congress and signed on November 19, 2001, established TSA. The mission of the TSA is to 'protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.'

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Apr 30, 2021 • 7:53 am CDT

The Republic of Estonian Government announced it had gone live with VaccineGuard to support the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and extend its vaccination program with secure and internationally verifiable certificates ensuring the attestation of reliable vaccination with authentic vaccines.

VaccineGuard vaccination certificates, issued through the national patient portal, will comply with the EU's proposed Green Certificate program.

However, the platform provides the capabilities to extend the functionality by linking the full supply chain of each vaccine to the certificate, enabling rapid root cause analysis in adverse reactions.

In the next phase of the launch, COVID-19 test results and recovery confirmation will be issued from the platform.

Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, commented in a press release issued on April 29, 2021, “As one of the most digitally advanced nations in the world, we are very excited to offer our citizens a trustworthy COVID-19 vaccine certificate, providing another major step on our road back to normality."

"Along with Guardtime, Estonia is keen to share our experience in managing our vaccination program and the development of our certificate initiative with all interested parties.”

On April 30, 2021, the Estonian-Latvian border will open for work or study purposes if a person will have received negative COVID-19 test results in the preceding seven-day period, according to a decision by the Estonian government, reported local media.

The current regulations require a 10-day self-quarantine period, which can be shortened.

Estonia is located in northeastern Europe, the northernmost of the three Baltic states. Estonia's area includes some 1,500 islands and islets.

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Apr 28, 2021 • 11:04 am CDT

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed deep frustration on April 28, 2021, with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) decision allowing Heathrow Airport to extract higher passenger charges.

'Consumers will pay millions more to travel, to the benefit of Heathrow’s shareholders,' stated Willie Walsh, IATA´s Director General, in a press statement.

'Heathrow’s landing charges are already the highest in the world, damaging UK competitiveness and burdening travelers.'

'This is the time when everyone in aviation should be pulling together to reduce costs and rebuild an important sector of the economy, not seeking to cover losses on the tab of its customers.'

'Irrespective of our next steps to counter the damage of this decision, we do agree with the finding of the CAA that Heathrow must invest in better services for airlines and travelers. We expect the CAA to hold Heathrow to these obligations,” added Walsh.

During 2018, about 80 million air passengers flew on 84 airlines to 203 destinations in 84 countries from Heathrow Airport. The most popular destinations were New York and Dubai.

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (formerly BAA) owns and runs London Heathrow Airport, Britain's aviation hub. Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited is in turn owned by FGP Topco Limited.

Apr 27, 2021 • 3:55 pm CDT

France's COVID-19 tracing app has been upgraded with new functions to include SARS-CoV-2 test results and COVID-19 vaccination records. It is being deployed on short-haul services between Paris and the Mediterranean island of Corsica, according to French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

On April 27, 2021, Bloomberg News reported that France is the first country in the European Union (EU) to have an operational digital system to introduce "digital green certificates" by June 2021.

On March 17, 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of EU citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Digital Green Certificate is digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19.

National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate. It could, for example, be issued by hospitals, test centers, health authorities.

On April 27th, the European Medicines Agency had authorized these COVID-19 vaccines: Comirnaty, COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen.

Digital Green Certificates will be accepted in all EU Member States. They will help to ensure that restrictions currently in place can be lifted in a coordinated manner. When traveling, every EU citizen or third-country national legally staying or residing in the EU, who holds a Digital Green Certificate, should be exempted from free movement restrictions in the same way as citizens from the visited Member State.

Apr 26, 2021 • 3:03 pm CDT

Bloomberg News reported on April 25, 2021, the draft of the regulation between European Union (EU) governments says 'all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency will be acceptable for travel throughout the EU.'

However, EU members are “encouraged” to accept emergency authorized COVID-19 vaccines that have secured World Health Organization approval. The final decision on which COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted rests on individual EU member states.

This news indicates leading COVID-19 vaccines such as Sputnik V could be excluded. The Sputnik V vaccine has been authorized in sixty-one countries.

According to GAVI.org on April 21, 2021, there are (91) COVID-19 vaccine candidates undergoing clinical trials.

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