Anyone flying to the U.S. will soon need to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19, health officials announced Tuesday.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement expands on a similar one announced late last month for passengers coming from the United Kingdom. The new order takes effect in two weeks. COVID is already widespread in the U.S., with more than 22 million cases reported to date, including more than 375,000 deaths. The new measures are designed to try to prevent travelers from bringing in newer forms of the virus that scientists say can spread more easily.
The CDC order applies to U.S. citizens as well as foreign travelers. The agency said it delayed the effective date until Jan. 26 to give airlines and travelers time to comply. International travel to the U.S. has already been decimated by pandemic restrictions put in place last March that banned most foreigners from Europe and other areas. Travel by foreigners to the U.S. and by Americans to international destinations in December was down 76% compared to a year earlier, according to trade group Airlines for America.
You Should Still Wear A Mask And Avoid Crowds After Getting the Vaccine
In the short run, it will take some time for the vaccine’s effectiveness to build up. (Effectiveness is defined as not getting sick with COVID-19. If 100 vaccinated people are exposed to a virus and 50 of them subsequently develop symptoms, that vaccine is 50% effective.)With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in December found that protection doesn’t start until 12 days after the first shot and that it reaches 52% effectiveness a few weeks later. A week after the second vaccination, the effectiveness rate hits 95%.
In its application for authorization, Moderna reported a protection rate of 51% two weeks after the first immunization and 94% two weeks after the second dose. “That’s not 100%,” says Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory board. “That means one out of every 20 people who get this vaccine could still get moderate to severe infection.”