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Travel What to know about COVID-19 boosters right now — and their implications for travel

13:30  23 october  2021
13:30  23 october  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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a man and a woman sitting at a table in front of a curtain © Provided by The Points Guy
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The White House is recommending that certain people receive a COVID-19 booster shot six months after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine. Therefore, travelers may consider refraining from making travel plans during the one- or two-month period they anticipate receiving the booster shot.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this summer announced it would authorize a COVID-19 booster for immunocompromised individuals and Americans over 65. Still, there’s been a lot of news on the booster shot since then.

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Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 boosters right now — and what it could mean for your upcoming travel plans.

The latest

a man and a woman sitting at a table in front of a curtain: (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) © The Points Guy (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The FDA will reportedly begin to allow people who got COVID-19 vaccines to get a booster that is different from the initial vaccine they received, according to the Washington Post. It is also expected to authorize Johnson & Johnson and Moderna booster shots.

Currently, only the Pfizer booster shot is available to those who initially received that vaccine.

Proof of vaccination is required in many countries, but as I’ve written before, your vaccine may not be enough to travel. The Johnson & Johnson shot is currently not approved for travel to certain countries, such as Japan, so travelers with this vaccine aren’t allowed entry just yet.

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If mixing and matching your shots is authorized, it may greatly benefit people who received the Johnson & Johnson shot, particularly when it comes to travel.

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot?

People vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine who are 65 and older, as well as people who live in long-term care facilities, people with an underlying medical condition and those who work or live in high-risk settings, are eligible for a booster shot at this time.

These people must have completed their initial series at least six months ago, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This demographic is expected to change with health experts expanding booster shot availability to people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

What have health experts said about COVID-19 booster shots?


Video: U.S. FDA advisers back Moderna COVID-19 booster shots for older and high-risk people (Reuters)

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With the delta variant’s spread, health experts are taking a more urgent approach to making booster shots available to certain people.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in early August that immunocompromised people might not have sufficient protection with the two-dose vaccines. More recently, Fauci said the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot should have been two doses.

“I think that they should feel good about it because what the advisers to the FDA felt is that given the data that they saw, very likely this should have been a two-dose vaccine to begin with,” Fauci said on the ABC News program “This Week” on Oct. 17.

What if I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a 66% efficacy rate, compared to 95% for Pfizer and 94% for Moderna.

Preliminary data suggests that people who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine may benefit from a Moderna or Pfizer booster.

And now, the FDA has recommended that people who got a Johnson & Johnson shot receive a booster shot of the same vaccine as early as two months after their first dose. That’s good news for the 15 million people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States and, as I noted early, will undoubtedly be beneficial for travel purposes if more destinations decide to place restrictions on recipients of that particular vaccine.

Mix-and-Match Covid Boosters: Why They Just Might Work

  Mix-and-Match Covid Boosters: Why They Just Might Work The Food and Drug Administration seems likely to allow Americans to switch vaccines when choosing a Covid-19 booster shot. That authorization, which could come this week, is the latest development in a long-running debate over whether a mix-and-match strategy helps protect people from the coronavirus. Here are answers to some common questions about mixing and matching booster shots. How is mix-and-match different? Immunizations typically consist of two or more doses of the same vaccine. The Moderna vaccine, for example, is administered in two identical shots of mRNA, separated by four weeks.

Can I get a booster shot if I want one?

Even if COVID-19 booster shots were widely recommended across the globe, there are people worldwide still waiting for their first and second doses.

While many developed countries vaccinate their citizens en masse, there are inequalities in which countries have gotten vaccines. In particular, much of the African continent lags behind the rest of the world in vaccine rollouts.

What about children?

Families with children under 12 might be wondering what a mixed-vaccine status might mean for their travel plans.

If you’re traveling domestically with children, there are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements.

But even if you haven’t left home since the onset of the pandemic, you probably won’t be shocked to hear that traveling abroad with kids is a bit different than it used to be. Vaccinated adults traveling with unvaccinated kids may, in some instances, have additional travel requirements as a result of the pandemic.

Many countries with strict vaccination requirements, however, accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test for children ineligible to be vaccinated.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine given emergency use authorization by the FDA for children as young as 12. Pfizer filed for emergency use for the 12 to 15 age group in April, and the vaccine was authorized for that group in May, so it appears the turnaround time is approximately one month or so.

Traveling soon? Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel

  Traveling soon? Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel Editor’s note: This post has been updated with more recent information. Testing is much more accessible now than it was earlier on in the pandemic. As more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, some countries have dropped testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. But depending on where you want to go, a negative COVID-19 test result …Testing is much more accessible now than it was earlier on in the pandemic.

But vaccines go through a rigorous process even to obtain emergency use authorization. The FDA has previously said it would not “cut any corners” regarding the authorization of vaccines for very young children, seemingly seeking to assuage nervous parents. The agency also said it was investigating different dosing regimens, so young children will likely not receive an adult vaccine dose.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only available to people 18 and older at this time. Right now, the CDC recommends all people 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Additional reporting by Caroline Tanner.

Featured photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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