Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Before You Travel

There are three categories: those who are morbidly afraid of needles, aka, trypanophobia; those who are generally anti-vaxxers, meaning they believe that vaccines, in general, do more harm than good; and those who do not trust the profit and power-driven corporations

Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Before You Travel
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

It’s officially about 13 months since I last traveled on a plane. I miss traveling and have pointed out how to travel during COVID-19 in another blog safely. Commercial planes can be nasty without a global pandemic. One study found that passengers leave things like discarded food, dirty diapers, and used sanitary pads in the front pocket, the same space as you. I store my mobile phone and snacks along where the inflight magazines. The other nastiest places are the aisle seats, my seat of choice incidentally, the food tray, the headrest (think about the previous passengers’ dead skin cells), and the seatbelts and buckles. Despite all these reports, our real deterrent was the risk of catching coronavirus from other infected passengers. You can find recommendations by CDC on getting vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel.

Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine).
Photo by Daniel Schludi / Unsplash

COVID-19 global pandemic added a nice layer of paranoia to travelers. In the past, I used to think some travelers had too much anxiety over germs. I once saw a lady break out a container of antibacterial wipes and deep clean everywhere she might touch around her seat. I may be the one doing this on my next flight despite how sanitized the airlines say they are. Besides, the real worry is how sanitized the other passengers are.

We are familiar with our behavior during COVID. Still, news and observations of people ignoring the virus to show their honor-culture strength make us concerned about traveling with infected people. I am excited about the prospects of traveling once vaccinated and not worrying too much about dying from contagion due to others being too unconcerned with protecting themselves and their community. Still, there are guidelines on how to behave after you have been vaccinated.

CDC Says, “Get Vaccinated Before Travel”

Once I have all my vaccines, I have plans to be out and about again. Like many colleagues and family, I want to travel anywhere to see a different landscape and people. I wrote an earlier blog about going to the beach, which may be an option. Because I have been indoors for so long, I also want to return to the gym, meet up with more family and friends, and visit family. I have had some members of my family that have moved on during COVID. I want to hike, visit restaurants and museums, drink with friends, and get out. Most importantly, I want to travel again. We still must

take precautions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, washing hands, and avoiding crowded areas. There are still rules about testing before travel. I am eager to see rules about traveling after being vaccinated.

Photo by Mat Napo / Unsplash

It may be difficult to believe this, but we are approaching the day when the number of people vaccinated and infections are so minuscule that we can leave home without a mask. We will be back in restaurants and bars and meeting family, all actions that help revive the economy without causing the virus to spike and kill or make ill more people. I am excited that we will reestablish our routine. We will be able to visit family and friends. There may be some who live far away from us that will require air travel. There is much talk of pent-up demand, where some people have money saved and are ready to use it to travel once borders open. As I said before, recovery will come first to those countries that did all the right things to reduce contagion.

Save Your Economy – Keep COVID Down and Vaccinate

I am impressed with my friends in Anguilla. They do not have to wear masks because they have no coronavirus cases. Their Chief Minister, a medical doctor by profession, took early steps to lockdown the island and then developed a solid system for letting people in when they reopened. If you want to visit Anguilla, you can find some rules here. Despite the complex procedures, once in, you are in a COVID-clean environment. Similarly, those cities and countries that vaccinate most of their people will likely recover faster. They will get more tourists and family visits and return to a vibrant economy.

doctor hand in gloves holding coronavirus vaccine, close u.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

All U.S. states are offering vaccines to teachers. I recall speaking to one of my cousins, a school principal, who was anxious about her students spreading the virus. She described it as working in a petri dish. Without vaccines, it was only a matter of time before they started losing teachers, some students, and parents. Some states offer vaccination residuals to other-than-the-most-vulnerable cases where the vaccine dosage would otherwise be wasted. Most people I meet are eager to get the vaccine. They are excited, even knowing it’s been one year of the virus. They know it’s not your typical time to test its long-term efficacy. This Washington Post link gives an update on where states are. Check this WebMD site for updates if you want to get a vaccine in your state.


I have spoken to a few people who fear getting the vaccine. They are likely in one of three main camps: those who are morbidly afraid of needles, aka, trypanophobia; those who are generally anti-vaxxers, meaning they believe that vaccines, in general, do more harm than good; and those who do not trust the profit and power-driven corporations and suspect politicians may be using this pandemic as a form of taking control or experimenting on vulnerable populations. Consequently, I try to reassure as many people as possible. I do so, especially for family and friends. I’m not comfortable visiting them unless they get vaccinated.

People today are informed of what goes into their bodies. We are connected enough to research to know what’s safe, plus our relationships with our doctors and family who are practitioners or scientists. We can be sure that the risk of a reputable company falsifying the vaccine is closer to nill. Besides, getting into something as nefarious as what anti-vaxxers suspect would yield no future returns. Those who deceive our trust would become ruined. Sure, some companies screw up on building trust. Anti-vaxxers believe vaccinations are a human rights violation; other beliefs would be a blog on their own. There will always be skeptics, so in our COVID eradication, we must prepare for this inevitability.

In this 2020 photograph, captured inside a clinical setting, a health care provider and patient, consult on influenza vaccine options. The best way to prevent seasonal flu illness is to get vaccinated every year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6-months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season. There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing, is for all people 6-months and older, get an influenza vaccine every year.
Photo by CDC / Unsplash

Benefits of Getting Vaccinated

When I first came to the U.S. as a child, my parents could not find my Antigua vaccination card. Of course, I’m vaccinated there since it’s mandatory for school attendance in the Caribbean. To save parents the trouble, the nurses would come to the school to vaccinate us. I recall a silly childhood game of play-fighting with classmates to go into the line with the least muscular and powerful-looking nurse because we thought the nurse that looked weak would somehow inject us more gently. I never knew that people were against vaccinating their children until I came to the U.S. When I arrived in New York to go to school, I had to take all my vaccinations again since I had no proof. That was since primary school. I stood around a lot for a few weeks after each shot.

However, I never got ill with any of the vaccinated ailments. I would need vaccines like Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, and updates on tetanus because of some places I traveled. I treat the COVID-19 vaccine the same. If it’s a requirement to travel, show me the line, even if the nurse is powerful-looking and muscular.

How do you feel about getting the vaccine?