Is it safe to get on an airplane after you get the vaccine?

is it safe to fly after vaccine
Photo via Jorge Díaz/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

As the summer vacation and travel season approaches, you might be asking yourself whether it is safe to fly again—especially if you’ve gotten the COVID vaccine.  

If you’ve already made some summer plans, you’re in luck. The Centers for Disease Control has updated its guidance on travel for fully vaccinated people. As long as precautions for COVID-19 are taken, those who have been fully vaccinated can travel without COVID-19 or post-travel quarantine. 

A negative COVID-19 test may be required by some international destinations, however. States may also have their own restrictions and guidelines for pre- and post-travel.
When returning from international travel, fully vaccinated people must still produce a negative test result before boarding and another within three to five days of returning. 

As the proportion of Americans who are fully vaccinated still remains fairly small (at about 30% of the population), the CDC recommends continuing to wear a mask, to social distance, and to maintain good hand washing practices. 

According to the New York Times, the air that is circulated on airplanes is a mix of fresh and recirculated air. It is refreshed about every two to three minutes, which is more than the typical grocery store. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe to hop on an airplane to fly to your favorite destination, even if you have the vaccine. Being in tight quarters in an enclosed area still means that there is a chance of transmission, especially with middle seats being filled again. With new strains of the SARS-Cov-2 virus popping up, this becomes a little more likely.

Not traveling to densely populated places, using airlines that are taking proper precautions, and generally being aware of the new case rate in your destination are all recommended by Forbes.

After you get the vaccine, is it safe to …

Sources: CDC, New York Times, Forbes

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