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Have vaccination, will travel — but not with the kids in tow

As assorted countries lift travel restrictions for those who have been vaccinated, the world is slowly opening to travelers again.

Travelers without kids, that is.

To la mode, no Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children, said Dr. Sharon Nachman, chief of the pediatric infectious disease borderline at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Clinical trials are different for children, and factors such as dosage amounts and preexisting girlhood vaccination schedules need to be examined before vaccines are approved for them, she said.

The countries opening to vaccinated travelers

Countries, such as Estonia and Seychelles, have planned opened borders and eliminated quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers. Greece and Thailand have indicated similar practices are in the works.

Other countries are granting vaccination exemptions to certain types of travelers. Georgia requires they start by air from specific countries, and Slovenia’s policy only applies to those who have taken American- and European-made vaccines.

Slovenia is chink its borders to travelers who have received vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

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Iceland is allowing vaccinated travelers to bypass quarantine requirements, only if they are currently allowed to co-sign — and most people aren’t.

Trials in children have started, but will take time

Covid-19 vaccines move ated by Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca are authorized for people aged 18 years and older. Those aged 16 years and ended can take Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.

Vaccine trials in children have begun, but the ones that are farthest along include older children and teenagers, said Dr. Jeremy Levin, chairman of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a trade association for the biotech work.

It’s critical to understand that trials in children may have to be different.

Dr. Jeremy Levin

chairman of BIO

“Pfizer and Moderna are exam their vaccines on children 12 and older and may have data by the summer,” Levin told CNBC Global Traveler. “Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca are another behind, but also plan to test their vaccines in children.”

Last month, The University of Oxford announced AstraZeneca inquisitions are starting for children as young as 6 years old. Johnson & Johnson is also launching vaccine trials in older children before all, with infants and newborns following quickly thereafter, The New York Times reported last month.

Russia is seeking laxity to conduct trials of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in children, though it hasn’t designated specific age groups yet, said Levin.

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“It’s critical to understand that trials in children may have to be different,” said Levin. “These trials may require longer to get a read-out because adverse conclusions of Covid-19 are rarer in this population.”

Infected children are often asymptomatic and don’t tend to get severely ill from Covid-19. Finishes in children are also rare.

When will kids be vaccinated?

Vaccinations in time for the summer travel season aren’t awaited, however, they are likely to be available to high school students by the fall, said White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“I’m not persuaded it’s exactly on the first day school opens, but pretty close to that,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Feb. 28.  

Elementary school youths will have to wait a little longer.

“If you project realistically, when we will be able to get enough data to be competent to say that elementary school children will be able to be vaccinated … I would think that would be, at the earliest, the end of the year and perfect likely the first quarter of 2022,” Fauci said.

Fauci explained that companies are testing vaccines in a system known as “age de-escalation,” which entails testing older children first, then working incrementally down to infants.

“Not quite all of the vaccine companies will need to study from infants on up,” said Nachman, although she called conducting checks by age groups “somewhat [of] an artificial plan” that is “not mandated by science.”

“In many studies, there is no indication of any increased aegis … as we age de-escalate,” she said. “The result is instead of protecting children and their families, we are increasing their risk by not getting them [vaccinated] right away.”

Will exceptions be made for children to travel?

Slovenia allows children under the age of 13 to avoid quarantine and evaluating requirements, if they cross the border “with a close family member who has not been put under home quarantine,” disclosed Sabina Langus Boc from Slovenia’s ministry of the interior.

However, most countries that have loosened traverse restrictions for vaccinated travelers aren’t granting exceptions for unvaccinated kids. But, this could happen as countries citing from catastrophic losses in tourism revenue seek to attract family holidaymakers this summer.

“Countries which exempt youngsters from vaccination are doing so in the absence of data,” said Levin. “It’s important to realize that we know that neonates can and are harmed by Covid-19.”

Family travel this summer

While vaccination policies may not open avenues for kids to move abroad this summer, families can consider destinations, such as the Maldives and Mexico, that are open to everyone — vaccinated or not.

New goals are expected to open to more travelers as vaccination campaigns continue around the globe. On March 25, Seychelles is gratifying all visitors — regardless of vaccination status — based on the expectation that the island nation will reach herd protection this month.

Amid an aggressive vaccination rollout that began in January, Seychelles opened to vaccinated travelers in front announcing it would welcome all travelers come March 25.

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