The situation is getting grimmer by day as India is struggling with the second lash of COVID-19 spread. Even if more and more people are getting vaccinated, it is important to wear a mask and maintain proper social distancing, especially while travelling.

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While many countries such as Canada, Iran, Australia, UAE, France, UK and Singapore, etc. have banned travellers from India to subdue any elevated risk of further COVID-19 spread in these countries, many haven’t. And hence, people are continuing to indulge themselves in their wanderlust, domestically and internationally.

Is It Safe To Travel If You’re Vaccinated?

According to Mumbai-based physician Dr Vishakha Shivdasani, vaccination is certainly not your ticket to freedom. Two shots of the vaccine do not mean that you cannot get infected with COVID-19 again. Even without symptoms, you can still get infected and become an asymptomatic carrier of the deadly virus.

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Hence, it’s necessary to get an RT-PCR test before travelling. The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test is a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in your system. It is mandatory in case you’re planning to travel.

Is It Safe To Travel With People Who Have Already Got Both Shots?

Well, it’s definitely much safer to travel, alone or in a group, two weeks after taking both the shots. However, it’s important to note that vaccination does not mean that one will necessarily escape the infection.

But if you’re travelling with a group of people who are not vaccinated, then that’s rather the opposite of safe and in fact, much worse. Because anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus and every time you take off your mask in the aircraft to eat food or to have a sip of water, you will be exposing yourself to others who may have the infection. 

Speaking of which, it is now proven that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not just an airborne infection but an aerosol infection, which means that the droplets of the virus could stay within a closed environment like an aircraft for 3 to 4 hours and don’t drop to the floor.

This is why double masking is mandatory for protection, as is a surgical mask. 

Read more: According To Experts, The COVID-19 Vaccine Prevents The Illness From Becoming A Severe Case And Not The Infection Per Se

Can You Get Infected By The New Variants Even If You’re Vaccinated?

Yes, you can. The vaccine is not a cure for this deadly virus. COVID-19 is here to stay and the COVID-19 vaccine prevents the illness from becoming a severe case and not the infection per se. Hence, the virus can evade some of the antibodies that your body might have developed through natural COVID-19 infection or vaccines, and you can get an infection again. 

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Currently, the status of the new mutations is unknown and the virus seems to be mutating rather quickly. Therefore, immunocompromised people and those above 65 should not be travelling at any cost. It’s much wiser to stay at home and make sure you do whatever it takes to stay safe, instead of travelling.

Chances are that we will need yet another dose of the vaccine, be it in six months or a year. Also, in India, we’ve got Covishield and Covaxin whereas in the US and many European countries there are Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that use mRNA technology to manufacture them. 

So, if you go to the West and need to take yet another dose of vaccine, then don’t mix. That is to say, if you have taken two shots of Covishield, then the third dose should also be that of Covishield. It is advisable to not take different vaccines yet as there’s not much clarity on the subject. 

Even though the risk of getting infected is lower in case you’re fully vaccinated, the virus is still out there and is mutating rather quickly. There’s no guarantee that you won’t get infected by the new variants of the virus.

Image credits: Kelly Sikkema

Additionally, if you’re fully vaccinated and decide to travel domestically or internationally, it’s also important to think about other people in your family and community as not all of us are eligible to get vaccinated.

We still have no vaccine for those under the age of 18. People need to consider both the risks to their children as well as for their children from the COVID-19 because this virus doesn’t hold even an ounce of morality. It has spared none! It has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt and it’ll continue to do so if we don’t follow instruction and take proper precautions.

Image credits: Unsplash

Sources: CN Traveller, Healthline, Centre of Disease Control and Prevention

Find the blogger at @sejalsejals38

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