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Health Expert: It’s OK to Travel After Your First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


A health expert gave the green light for people to travel after receiving their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

There are a few caveats, of course. And does this necessarily mean it’s a good idea to travel after just one jab?

(This should not be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional.)

One Dose Does a Body Good?

Insider.com spoke with Dr. Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. (You can check out his credentials here.)

They asked Dr. Adalja about which activities are safe for people who received their first dose of the two-jab Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Insider’s Kelsie Sandoval and Andrea Michelson, the good doctor says it’s OK to travel by plane, train, or car.

He reinforced something most of us probably already know: “A person traveling that’s partially vaccinated is at lower risk than they were prior to being vaccinated.”

A medical professional gives an injection to a patient.
(©iStock.com/geargodz)

So Half-Vaxxeds Can Do Whatever They Want — Right?

Well, I’m waiting. (I was lucky and recently received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. I tried my luck at a COVID-19 vaccination site that apparently had some no-shows that day. There were open vials and they needed arms.)

Insider adds:

Adalja [said] that partially vaccinated travelers should prioritize avoiding crowded areas on their trip, which can be hot spots for COVID-19 spread.

For example, crowded spring break tourist spots were linked to the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.

If you decide to travel while partially vaccinated, Adalja said you should skip crowded bars and indoor dining. You should also continue to wear a mask and keep your distance from others.

While the first shot will provide some protection against the coronavirus, the safest way to travel is after you’re fully vaccinated.

Congregating maskless with other people once you reach your destination probably isn’t the best idea.

And even after I receive both doses, I’ll wear masks and avoid large crowds for while.

Rene's Points owner Chris Carley displays his COVID-19 vaccination card.
One down, one to go! (And clearly needing a haircut.)

“But the CDC Says We Shouldn’t Travel Until They Say So!”

A lot of people were upset when I wrote that I’ll travel when I’m vaccinated — even if the CDC advises against it. (And, again, I’m waiting until I’m fully vaccinated — and then probably another month after that until I take a trip.)

Some commenters ordered me to wait until the experts give their blessings.

Well, Dr. Adalja is an infectious disease expert. And Dr. Leana Wen, a former health commissioner, voiced her opposition to the CDC’s recommendation.

Limited time offers for the Delta American Express cards.

So there are a couple of expert opinions. The only difference? Their opinions aren’t necessarily influenced by politicians.

As fellow blogger Gary Leff pointed out, “Currently the CDC advises against travel regardless of vaccination. They were going to change that, but the [Biden] administration stepped in.” (Bold mine.)

Final Approach

It’s certainly confidence-inducing that an infectious disease expert says it’s OK to travel after one’s first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Obviously, waiting until your second jab — plus a few weeks after that — seems like a safer course of action. Until I’m fully vaccinated, I’m not traveling or altering much of my other COVID-19 pandemic practices, in general. But this new information is certainly good news, IMHO.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

Featured image: Stock photo ©iStock.com/Prostock-Studio, Rene’s Points Composite

Disclaimer: The author holds stock in Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer.

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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18 Comments

  1. lol.

    Flying every week, no vaccine. Flew yesterday.

    Hanging around crowds constantly, on buses, trains.

    Eating in restaurants and street food daily.

    Have been since Jan 2020.

    You guys are insane for continuing to spread fear and drama around the internet.

    • If you’re saying René and I “spread fear and drama around the internet,” I find that rather amusing. We’re planning to travel once we’re vaccinated. We get pushback from people telling us we’re too dangerous. But I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your travels and hope you’re safe.

  2. I’d say it’s a fine line. If you wait TOO long then you may get into trouble on the other end. Many jurisdictions only allow entry for 3 months after your vaccinations or require quarantine if not within 3 months. I suspect that may change once more data exist.

    • Even here in California, they’re teasing us with moving to the “orange tier,” which is less restrictive than the red and purple. And some fans will be allowed in the stands for MLB games. So, yeah, hopefully those three-month rules will significantly loosen up or be struck altogether.

  3. Jane Kramer Reply

    I’m fully vaccinated as of two days ago! Am traveling on 4/4 – just short of the two weeks of “full immunity.” I wouldn’t be for the fact I have an important medical appt. at the Cleveland Clinic in LAS. However, I’ll be wearing an N95, goggles, single-use amounts of gloves for the lav, and wipe everything down. Which I think I’ll do for a while to come. I’m also flying JFK-LAX D1 in a single seat to keep any distances. Starting with my fully vaccinated best friend and then driving to Vegas. May I add the one way ticket was 20k miles, $7.40 plus a May 1 expiring RUC! Still get MQMs. I was very proud of myself for that one. 😉 Wish me luck!!

    • WELL DONE!! Also, I had no idea there was a Cleveland Clinic in Vegas. Good to know! Have a great trip and I hope your medical appointment goes well!

  4. Marcos Lindsey Reply

    This is sound fact based scientific advice. Especially as we approach 600K dead Americans. It is disrespectful to travel, even if the virus strikes you mildly, to pass it on to others who may become carriers and kill others, Take a look at Brazil who said to not live in fear and ignore the virus. They are in terrible shape due in large part to poor leadership. Also, who knows long term effects yet such as organs being damaged that may shows up later. Also loss of smell, taste etc. For those who do not follow safety and science we do have more ventilators available now than ever before.

  5. Barry Graham Reply

    More and more research is showing that you won’t transmit the virus after vaccination., so it won’t be necessary medically to wear a mask after your two shots (and a wait of two weeks).

    You can still catch and transmit after one shot. I personally believe the airlines when they say it’s OK to travel after no shots, but to give a green light to one vaccine seems like very poor advice.

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