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Can you travel after you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s what Dr. Fauci says

The COVID-19 vaccine might not give you a free pass to travel during the pandemic

SHARE Can you travel after you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s what Dr. Fauci says
The COVID-19 vaccine might not give you a free pass to travel during the pandemic

The COVID-19 vaccine might not give you a free pass to travel during the pandemic

Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t necessarily mean you have a free pass to travel as much as you want, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.

What’s happening?

A number of infectious disease experts gathered together for a virtual CNN global town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta earlier this week.

What’s going on?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke at the event. He was asked about whether or not people can travel once they get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what he said:

  • “Getting vaccinated does not say you have a free pass to travel,” Fauci said. “Nor does it say you have a free pass to put aside all the public health measures that we talk about all the time.”
  • “You can get some degree of protection that isn’t durable 10 days to 14 days after the first dose, but you can’t rely on that,” said Fauci. “The maximum immunity begins about 10 days to two weeks and beyond following the second dose. That goes for anyone, regardless of whether you want to travel or not.”

Fauci said even after the second dose, you may not have his full permission to travel, according to Forbes.

  • “That would give you as a group about a 94% to 95% efficacy and a good safety profile,” he said. “It is not a good idea to travel, period. We don’t want people to think that because they got vaccinated that other public health recommendations just don’t apply.” 

Research says something similar

A study recently published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance found wearing face masks “could lead to more COVID-19 spread” without the right messaging, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

The study said people who wore masks still had contact with other people, including adults and seniors, which led to more coronavirus case numbers among those who wore masks. Essentially, people saw their masks as a free pass.

  • “When you wear a mask, you may have a deceptive sense of being protected and have more interactions with other people,” said Eline van den Broek-Altenburg, an assistant professor and vice chair for Population Health Science in the Department of Radiology at the Larner College of Medicine, said in a statement.

Local reaction

University of Utah Health Division of Infectious Diseases associate professor Dr. Emily Spivak told the Deseret News in January that the first dose isn’t a free pass, either.

  • “The whole point of the second dose is to boost the sort of the amount of antibody and the amount of immunity that you have and hopefully the length. We just don’t even know how long the protection is after two doses,” Spivak said.