Thursday,  May 13, 2021  9:21 am

COVID-19 vaccine could become mandatory for travel, says Dr. Fauci

COVID-19 vaccine could become mandatory for travel, says Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Could the COVID-19 vaccine become a standard travel vaccine, like yellow fever, for overseas travel?" Newsweek recently posed the question to now famous American immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci 

His answer: “It's entirely possible."

It would even be a good thing, according to Dr Fauci, who qualified the comparison with the yellow fever vaccine, which is required by the country of destination (and not the country of departure).

“I went to Liberia during the Ebola outbreak. I had to get my yellow fever vaccine or they wouldn't let me into Liberia," he said.

That said, Dr. Fauci also told Newsweek that he would not be surprised if some countries require COVID-19 vaccines before fully reopening their borders. If so, that could lead to the massive use of "immunity passports" (like IATA's Travel Pass), he believes.

The leading infectious disease specialist in the United States has even argued that vaccination against COVID-19 could possibly also be mandatory for certain trips made by Americans in their own country.

According to Dr. Fauci, if this obligation did not emanate from the federal government, it could come from other institutions in the same way that vaccines against influenza and hepatitis B are obligatory in many hospitals.

“Everything is on the table. Anything is possible, of course. […] These are all things that will be discussed [under the Biden administration]," he said.

Yes to vaccines, but No to making them a travel requirement 

Recall, however, that four major international organizations - the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Airports Council International, World Economic Forum and the International Chamber of Commerce have recently joined forces to request that the COVID-19 vaccine not be a requirement for travel .

“Vaccination should not be a requirement for travel, but should coexist with testing regimens and be seen as a gradual improvement in already safe travel,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO. 

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