Travel Vaccine Breaking News

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

Sep 13, 2022 • 10:24 am CDT
U.S. CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported travelers who have spent time in Mexico had been infected with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella Newport. This is a significant CDC health alert since Infections with MDR Salmonella can be challenging to treat.

Some people are more likely to get seriously ill and need antibiotic treatment.

These groups include young children, people with weakened immune systems, and seniors.

International travelers who have severe symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

The CDC's Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions, advisory issued on September 8, 2022, says 'visitors to Mexico confirmed with MDR Salmonella Newport infections reported eating beef, cheese (including queso fresco and Oaxaca), beef jerky, or dried beef (carne seca) before they got sick.'

When planning a visit to Mexico, the CDC suggests various vaccinations listed on this webpage.

And the U.S. Department of State updated its Advisory for Mexico on August 17, 2022, confirming some areas/states have an increased risk for civil unrest. Additional alerts are posted on this webpage.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, CDMX.

Sep 11, 2022 • 1:53 pm CDT
U.S. CDC

While the Southern Hemisphere is ending its annual flu season, the north is preparing for new influenza viruses to arrive.

For example, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recently published the Weekly National Influenza Surveillance report for week #36. Through the Respiratory Datamart system, overall influenza positivity remains low throughout the UK.

As of September 9, 2022, the influenza positivity increased to 1.2%, with 31 samples testing positive for influenza (including nine influenza A(H3N2), one influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 20 influenza A(not subtypes), and one influenza B).

Additionally, other indicators for influenza, such as hospital admissions and GP influenzalike illness consultation rates, remain low.

And parainfluenza positivity decreased slightly to 1.2%, while human metapneumovirus positivity remained very low at 0.3%.

This updated UKHSA Guidelines Summary, published on September 1, 2022, covers vital information on the 2022–2023 national flu program, including recommendations on the use of antivirals, agents against flu, exposure of healthcare professionals to live attenuated flu vaccine (LAIV) viruses, inadvertent administration of LAIV, and flu vaccination in people who have immunosuppression and/or HIV infection, severe asthma or active wheezing, or egg allergy.

The U.S. CDC says, 'be aware of current health issues in the United Kingdom.'

This CDC advice includes getting a flu shot before visiting the UK.

Sep 8, 2022 • 4:02 pm CDT
U.S. CDC

The U.S. CDC recently confirmed that the dengue virus had become a health concern in Asia and the Pacific Islands. To alert international travelers, the CDC reissued a Level 1, Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions Advisory.

On September 6, 2022, the CDC stated, 'Several (12) countries in the western Pacific Ocean area are reporting increased numbers of dengue cases.'

Dengue is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. The disease can take up to two weeks to develop, with the illness generally lasting less than a week.

However, dengue can become severe within a few hours.

Severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization.

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

Because mosquito bites spread dengue, all travelers to risk areas should prevent mosquito bites.

Another prevention option is vaccination.

There are now two authorized dengue vaccines worldwide as of September 8, 2022.

The U.S. FDA authorized the Dengvaxia vaccine for limited use in May 2019. Laboratory confirmation of previous dengue virus infection is required before Dengvaxia vaccination 

And on August 22, 2022, Takeda's QDENGA® vaccine was approved in Indonesia.

Other dengue outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Dengue.

Sep 7, 2022 • 4:04 pm CDT
U.S. CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reissued its polio travel advisory yesterday for various African countries.

On September 6, 2022, the CDC's Level 2 Practice Enhanced Precautions Alert listed twenty-eight African countries where poliovirus is currently spreading.

The CDC says, 'Everyone should be fully vaccinated against poliovirus according to the CDC's updated schedule published in February 2022.'

And 'before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.'

This CDC Alert may apply to cities currently detecting poliovirus in wastewater samples, such as London and New York City.

Previously, the World Health Organization reaffirmed in June 2022 that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Most people with polio do not feel sick, but some have minor symptoms. 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.

Since 2000, the IPV and combination vaccines have been given in the USA.

The IVP produces antibodies to all three poliovirus types (Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett).

In 2021, more than 372 million children were vaccinated against polio multiple times in 30 countries, using more than one billion oral polio vaccines, which are not offered in the USA.

Polio vaccines are generally available in clinics and pharmacies in the USA.

This CDC notice was initially posted on December 11, 2019.

Sep 7, 2022 • 3:13 pm CDT
by Kev from Pixabay

The latest UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) technical briefing published on September 2, 2022, shows a further decline in the number of new monkeypox (MPX) cases identified in the United Kingdom.

Available data shows that the MPX virus continues to be transmitted primarily in interconnected sexual networks of gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (GBMSM).

Furthermore, there is no robust evidence of sustained transmission outside these networks.

The UKHSA confirmed 'close contacts of those with monkeypox no longer need to isolate for three weeks.'

As of August 26, 2022, there are 3,389 confirmed and highly probable cases of monkeypox in the UK, with about 70% of patients in London.

Out of 3,215 confirmed cases in England where gender information was available, 99% were men, with a median age of 36.

The UKHSA began reporting MPX cases in May 2022. 

Globally, there are over 58,000 MPX cases and nineteen related fatalities.

Dr. Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, commented in a media release, "It is encouraging that the number of new monkeypox cases in the UK continues to fall."

"However, the outbreak in the UK and worldwide is not over."

"If you have symptoms, which can take up to three weeks to appear, please call 111 or a sexual health clinic."

And "If you are eligible for an MPX vaccine (Jynneos®, MVA-BN, IMVANEX®), please wait to be called forward by the NHS, and you will receive one once supply is available in your area."

As of August 30, 2022, a total of 38,079 vaccine doses have been recorded in England.

A further 1,992 doses have been given to healthcare workers managing monkeypox cases, and 2,169 doses have been given to close contacts of cases.

Additional monkeypox outbreak news is posted on this Vax-Before-Travel webpage.

Note: The UK information was manually translated and curated for mobile readership.

Sep 7, 2022 • 2:33 pm CDT
WHO map

London-based GSK plc's Thomas Breuer, Chief Global Health Officer, commented yesterday that the “World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification of Mosquirix™ (RTS,S) is a key step in reaching children with the first and only approved malaria vaccine."

"Malaria remains a significant cause of illness and death for children in many parts of the world, and it is a significant driver of inequality."

"So far, over one million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have had at least one dose of Mosquirix." 

The "WHO’s prequalification paves the way for more children to benefit from the (malaria) vaccine," stated Breuer in a related press release on September 6, 2022.

Mosquirix vaccination triggers the human immune system to defend against the first stages of disease when the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite enters the host's bloodstream through a mosquito bite and infects liver cells.

On October 6, 2021, the WHO recommended the RTS,S malaria vaccine for sub-Saharan Africa and regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.

GSK is currently working with partners to accelerate a product transfer for long-term antigen production, including technology transfer, to Bharat Biotech of India. 

According to the U.S. CDC, Malaria is a vaccine-preventable mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. 

As of September 7, 2022, the U.S. FDA had not approved a malaria vaccine. 

Additional malaria vaccine news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Malaria.

Sep 6, 2022 • 11:02 am CDT
U.S. CBP

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 's Global Entry program was recently expanded to include the Government of Brazil, joining Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the U.K.

The entire arrangement, announced in February 2022, comes after a pilot program launched in November 2019 and will increase the number of Brazilian citizens eligible to participate in Global Entry services. 

The Global Entry program enables expedited clearance for pre-approved travelers upon arrival in the USA.

The program is approaching 10 million participants and could enroll over 3.5 million applications this fiscal year. 

"After years of dedication, conversation, and collaborative efforts, CBP welcomes Brazil and its citizens to full partnership and membership in Global Entry," said Matthew Davies, Executive Director, CBP Admissibility and Passenger Programs, in a press release.

Global Entry Members enter the USA through automatic kiosks at numerous airports within the U.S. and at Preclearance locations worldwide.

And the Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) program allows Global Entry applicants who are conditionally approved to complete their interviews upon arrival in the USA. 

A list of participating EoA airports is posted on this webpage, last modified on August 18, 2022.

While Global Entry's goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the USA.

Furthermore, as of September 5, 2022, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security checkpoint travel activity has returned to pre-pandemic volume.

During the Labor Day 2022 holiday, the TSA screened 8.76 million travelers.

Sep 6, 2022 • 9:43 am CDT
by Davie Bicker

Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc. today announced that it had dosed the first participant in its Phase 1 study evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of EBS-LASV, a recombinant VSV-vectored Lassa virus vaccine candidate being developed for the prevention of disease caused by Lassa virus infection.

This is essential news since the U.S. FDA has not approved any Lass fever vaccine for use as of September 6, 2022.

Kelly Warfield, Ph.D., SVP for research and development at Emergent BioSolutions, commented in a related press release, “We are proud to deploy our product development and partnering capabilities to address emerging infectious diseases like Lassa fever, for which there is currently no approved vaccine or therapeutic, and to advance our pipeline for patients.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus.

Though first described in the 1950s, the virus causing Lassa disease was not identified until 1969.

Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats.

Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in health care settings in the absence of adequate infection prevention and control measures.  

The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.  

Lassa fever is endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria but probably exists in other West African countries.  

Among patients hospitalized with severe clinical presentation of Lassa fever, case fatality is estimated at around 15%.

However, early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival, says the WHO.

Lassa fever is one of the pathogens in the WHO R&D Blueprint list of epidemic threats.

The R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows the rapid activation of research and development activities during epidemics. 

Sep 6, 2022 • 7:23 am CDT
by Albrecht Fietz

The European Civil Protection And Humanitarian Aid Operations reported yesterday that health stakeholders in Zimbabwe are attempting to contain a measles outbreak that has already killed about 700 children since April 2022. Unfortunately, more than 50% of the registered fatalities had not been vaccinated, according to the government's Tweet on September 5, 2022.

The outbreak started in the Manicaland providence and is exponentially increasing throughout Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organization has already warned about the increase in measles in vulnerable countries due to a disruption of services due to COVID-19.

Almost 41 countries have already put off, or may put off, their measles campaigns for 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This increases the risk of more significant outbreaks worldwide, including in the United States.

Measles can enter the United States through infected travelers entering or traveling through the USA and infected travelers returning from other countries.

Although measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, almost 1,300 cases were reported in 2019.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, with several types of vaccines offered in the USA.

In addition to measles, the U.S. CDC encourages international travelers to speak with their healthcare provider regarding other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Certified travel pharmacies offer pre-departure vaccination services for yellow fever, polio, and cholera.

Note: As of August 8, 2022, the U.S Department of State maintained a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution notice when visiting Zimbabwe.

Sep 4, 2022 • 11:27 am CDT
Gov. of Bermuda

The Government of Bermuda recently clarified that arriving airline passengers over two years must have an approved Bermuda Travel Authorisation (TA) before departure.

To receive a TA as of August 22, 2022, prospective Bermuda visitors need to have:

  • A Mastercard or Visa credit card to pay the $40 Travel Authorisation application fee.
  • If fully vaccinated, have your vaccination certificate/card ready to upload to your application.
  • If unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, have proof of travel health insurance ready to upload to your application.
  • Take a COVID-19 test at a testing facility no more than two days before arrival (fully vaccinated travelers can take a PCR test up to 4 days before arrival). However, children under two years old do not need to test.

If approved, the Bermuda Quarantine Authority will email an approved TA.

For any TA queries, contact Bermuda's COVID hotline at 1-833-570-2594) or via email at [email protected].

Previously, the U.S. CDC issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for Bermuda regarding its COVID-19 outbreak.

On April 18, 2022, the CDC stated, 'If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid traveling to Bermuda.

However, based on recent sequencing results, Bermuda's outbreak may be subsiding.

The Ministry of Health recently received 5,011 test results, and 128 were positive for the coronavirus, giving a test positivity rate of 3%.

Furthermore, it was determined that the Omicron BA.5 variant was identified as circulating in Bermuda from May 2022 and BA.4 from July.

Additional sequencing results are pending to determine when these sub-variants may have been introduced to Bermuda.

Minister of Health Kim Wilson, JP, MP, advised: "We recently sent COVID-19 test samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for gene sequencing. Gene sequencing allows scientists to classify a virus as a particular variant and determine its lineage. "

"We must continue vigilance as we are not out of the woods yet."

"I encourage everyone to be cautious, and if you are eligible for the COVID vaccine, please get it," stated the government's August 31, 2022, media release.

"In closing... always practice good hand hygiene, ensure proper ventilation indoors, maintain physical distance, and wear a quality, well-fitted mask for extra protection if you choose to do so."

"Stay home if you test positive or if you have symptoms."

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 17,913 coronavirus cases, out of which 17,624 have recovered, and sadly there have been 148 coronavirus-related deaths.

In addition to COVID-19 vaccination, the U.S. CDC recommends prospective visitors to Bermuda be up-to-date on all Routine Vaccines, as well as travel-related vaccines.

These travel vaccines, including the U.S. FDA-approved yellow fever YF-Vax vaccine, are generally available at certified Texas and Austin, TX, certified pharmacies.

Various flights depart from Austin (AUS-Austin-Bergstrom Intl.) and arrive at St. George's, Bermuda (BDA-L.F.).

Note: If you are arriving in Bermuda on a cruise ship, click HERE for related TA information. This data was manually translated and curated for international travelers.

Sep 4, 2022 • 10:07 am CDT
U.S. DOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued final guidance informing the public and regulated entities about DOT's interpretation of unfair, deceptive practices related to airline travel in the USA.

The DOT announced that 'throughout 2022, Americans have experienced an unacceptable level of flight delays and cancellations.'

'When these disruptions occur, airlines are required to support passengers based on commitments made in their customer service plans, but too often, passengers find those plans are difficult to understand and do not guarantee services – such as meals or hotel accommodations when they must wait overnight at an airport – even for flights that are delayed or canceled because of the carrier.'

Issued by the DOT on August 29, 2022, access to a digital dashboard ensures the traveling public has easy access to information about services that U.S. airlines provide to mitigate passenger inconveniences when the cause of a cancellation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline's control.

A green check mark on the dashboard means an airline has committed to providing that service or amenity to its customers.

While a red "x" means the airline has not made that commitment.

However, airlines with a red "x" may sometimes provide these services and amenities at their discretion.

As a result of these actions, all but one of the ten largest U.S. airlines made significant changes to their plans to improve services provided to passengers when their flights are canceled or delayed because of an airline issue.

For example, no airline unconditionally guaranteed meal vouchers or hotels before this change.

Now, nine of the ten guarantee meals, and eight guarantee hotel accommodations when an airline issue causes a delay or cancelation.

"Passengers deserve transparency and clarity on what to expect from an airline when there is a cancelation or disruption," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commented in a press release on September 1, 2022.

"This dashboard collects that information in one place so travelers can easily understand their rights, compare airline practices, and make informed decisions."

"The Department will continue to support passengers and to hold airlines responsible for adhering to their customer obligations." 

This DOT announcement was manually curated for mobile readership.

Sep 2, 2022 • 11:29 am CDT
Austin, Texas Bergstrom airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that it is prepared to handle the increase in the number of travelers expected to be flying out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) over the Labor Day weekend.

Over the past two days, the TSA reported airport security has been more active than before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019!

"We continue to see increased traveler volume at airport security checkpoints," commented Gilbert Almaraz, TSA's Federal Security Director for AUS, in a media release on September 2, 2022.

"At AUS, our officers are prepared for the influx of travelers."

"I remind travelers to arrive early, be weather aware as rain storms may impact travel schedules, and double-check carry-on luggage for prohibited items."

While standing in a security line, remove items from pockets such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues, and cell phones and place them into carry-on bags instead of putting things from pockets directly into bins.

Additionally, the TSA PreCheck® expedited screening program allows travelers to leave on shoes, jackets, and belts and enables them to keep their electronics in their carry-on bags.

Due to these benefits, the TSA PreCheck lanes move the quickest. 

Furthermore, the TSA no longer requires travelers to wear masks but remains optional.

Separately, the U.S. CDC suggests international travelers confirm their vaccination status at least one month before departure.

In Austin, travel vaccines, such as yellow fever and polio, are offered at certified pharmacies.

As the original terminal serving Austin-Bergstrom International Airport since it opened in 1999, the Barbara Jordan Terminal is accessed from SH-71. 

Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying with any questions about screening policies, procedures, as well as arrange for assistance at Austin's TSA checkpoint.

Sep 2, 2022 • 10:43 am CDT
U.S. CDC

The U.S. Department of State recently updated its Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the PRC's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) regarding local requirements and COVID-19 cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined the PRC has a low level of COVID-19, and Hong Kong has a high level.

The CDC says, 'If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid visiting Hong Kong.'

People within the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR, are subjected to mandatory testing, confirmed the State Department on August 30, 2022.

The zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19 by the PRC and Hong Kong SAR governments severely impacts travel and access to public services.

All travelers should prepare to quarantine at a government-designated location for an extended duration upon arrival.

Travelers who test positive during this quarantine time will be transferred to a government-designated medical facility.

Standards of care, accommodations, testing, and treatments may differ considerably from standards in the United States, including the possibility of unsanitary or crowded conditions, substandard or limited access to food provisions, and delayed access to medical treatment.

Even after completing quarantine on arrival, travelers to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR, may face additional quarantines and mandatory testing as well as movement and access restrictions, including access to medical services and public transportation.

In areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases, restrictions may include being confined at home or moved to a government-designated quarantine facility or hospital.

Visit the U.S. Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in the mainland areas of the PRC or the Consulate General Hong Kong's COVID-19 page for details on the situation in the Hong Kong SAR.

Of note, the CDC's Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the USA remains in effect.

For more information, see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC suggests checking which other travel vaccines and medicines you may need at least a month before your trip.

Certified travel pharmacies in the USA offer various vaccination services.

Note: This information was manually curated for international travelers.

Aug 31, 2022 • 4:39 pm CDT
by Lee Murry

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General shared opening remarks at a digital media briefing today. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, "We don't have to live with monkeypox."

This is encouraging news since the monkeypox virus (MPXV) outbreak began in early May 2022; there are now over 53,000 cases globally, including 18,989 in the USA.

As of August 31, 2022, the Director-General commented, "Some European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, are also seeing a clear slowing of the outbreak, demonstrating the effectiveness of public health interventions and community engagement to track infections and prevent transmission."

"These signs confirm what we have said consistently since the beginning: that with the right measures, this is an outbreak that can be stopped."

"And in regions that do not have animal-to-human transmission, such as Africa, this is a virus that can be eliminated."

"But it won't just happen."

"Eliminating monkeypox needs three things: the evidence that it's possible, which we are now beginning to see; political will and commitment; and the implementation of public health measures in the communities that need them most."

The WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding MPXV outbreaks on July 23, 2022.

Additional MPXV outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Monketpox.

Aug 31, 2022 • 1:42 pm CDT
U.S. TSA

To empower passengers to make informed decisions when booking flights, InsureMyTrip recently published research on the performance of U.S. airports and domestic flights.

InsureMyTrip analyzed the latest flight cancellation data gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as of August 22, 2022, to gain a closer look at the impact of ongoing flight disruptions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other factors on U.S. airports.

Only 6 of the 78 airports analyzed reduced the percentage of canceled flights compared to 2021

The summary includes data from January through May of 2022. 

  • LaGuardia New York saw an increase of 4.02% more canceled flights; however, they have put on almost 50,000 more canceled flights this year.
  • Gerald R. Ford International saw almost 3% more canceled flights, despite having nearly the same number of flights in both years.
  • Oakland International managed to reduce the number of canceled flights by 2.15%.
  • Salt Lake City International put on 449 fewer flights in 2022 and only had 0.49% more canceled flights.

Separately, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration activity data on August 30, 2022, indicated that 2022 airport security screening remains about 90% compared with 2019.

Note: This is not a sponsored new article.