Booster jabs for travel certainty?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

There are more than a few travel people scratching their heads this weekend and wondering how to interpret the data about vaccination efficacy.

Will I need a booster jab to holiday in 2022? © Dan Sperrin

We have had two studies, the first of 400,000 people, suggested that both the Astra-Zenica and Pfizer–BioNTech jabs wane in their efficacy as the months roll on.

The second study of more than a million people showed much the same thing.

We don’t yet know how other vaccines such Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik and Covaxin will respond as they age in people’s bodies. they might maintain a higher level of immunity or less. Only time will tell.

The question for governments might be who should get booster shots and when. The question facing the travel industry is at what point should they refuse to take people on holiday so that all the other passengers remain as protected as they can be.

This is crucial for travel because claims that individual might make if the travel company does not make their best endeavours to look after them could be ruinous.

Governments won’t want to damage their resurging tourism industries so they won’t want to accept visitors where the vaccination efficacy is waning too far as it might reintroduce problems for its own health facilities and infect its populations.

Where will be the point at which people will require boosters in order to be able to continue travelling?

The glib answer is when the efficacy drops below 50% but when might that be? Will it be different for older people with underlying health problems? Will the efficacy last longer in fit and healthy 25 year olds? Do we know enough to make any conclusions yet? Do the two studies reflect what might be seen in the general population as a whole?

It is reported that USA officials are considering booster shots after five or six months for the population.

For the travel industry, how governments will react is the unknown. The one thing that the industry has learnt in the last eighteen months is that governments can move very fast to minimise damage from COVID -19 in their own lands.

That makes planning very difficult in an industry that was used to planning some eighteen months to two years ahead instead of next month or the next three months.

Because the medics don’t know, the rest of us can’t decide what to do either.

Deciding on where to holiday or travel twelve months from now has become harder with the publication of these two studies because travellers won’t know how the travel industry and governments will react.

Note: 17 Sept 2021. The governments have decided that over 50’s and those with underlying health issues will get a Pfizer booster jab no earlier than six months after their second jab.


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