The biggest global vaccination campaign in history is underway. As countries around the world look to gradually ease restrictions, it is imperative that organizations equip their employees for a safe return to travel.
In the latest episode of CWT’s podcast, Business Travel On the Fly, Raphaël Pasdeloup - Senior VP Global Customer Management, Technology, Media and Telecom at CWT speaks to experts including William Hauptman, MD - Medical Director Assistance, Americas Region, International SOS about.
Here are three key takeaways from Dr. Hauptman.
1. Vaccinations are key to making travel safe again
Wealthy countries with the highest incomes are getting vaccinated about 25 times more rapidly than those with lower incomes. On a global scale, achieving vaccination is quite a daunting task. At the rate of 20 million a day, it's going to take years to achieve significant levels of global immunity. 83% of shots that have been given worldwide have been administered in high and upper-middle-income countries and only 0.3% have been administered in lower-income countries.
Israel has led the world in vaccinations. By February more than 84% of people aged 70 and older, had received two doses. Severe COVID cases and deaths declined rapidly, which is a harbinger of good things to come. We are seeing a similar phenomenon in the UK. Typically, we can expect that once a country has achieved greater than 40% vaccination COVID rates will begin to decline.
2. Testing remains critical
I can safely say that if you've been fully vaccinated, you are relatively well protected against getting the disease and can certainly feel more comfortable traveling and getting in an airport or taking a taxi or train. However, we have to realize that the global situation continues to present very high levels of cases.
In addition to vaccinations, testing is likely to remain a requirement to keep travel as safe as possible, until we see significant public health results from vaccinations.
3. Travel managers continue to have a duty of care
Travel managers will continue to have a duty of care to fully understand the risks inherent at a destination, and to educate their travelers. Travel managers need to understand the full picture of what's happening at a destination in terms of COVID levels, the variance, and the health infrastructure, and need to be able to educate travelers about how to protect themselves to mitigate risk as much as possible.
Many measures to mitigate infection are going to remain with us for the foreseeable future including masks and health screens, testing, and vaccination status.
Listen to the full episode at Business Travel On the Fly