The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he would favor making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for air travel.
Fauci Would Endorse Vaccine as a Requirement for Travelers
In a recently published article in U.S. News, on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on The Skimm podcast that he would endorse the idea of getting a jab of vaccine before people could fly on a plane and travel with others.
Furthermore, in the podcast conversation, he did not say if the vaccine mandate he supports would apply only to passengers over 12 years old or all travelers.
However, the United States Travel Association does not support vaccine mandate and it has always maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination for domestic travel.
The United States Travel Association further stated that such a regulation would have an unfair, harmful impact on families with small children who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.
The Risk of COVID-19 Exposure on Planes is ‘Virtually Nonexistent’ When Masked.
They feel that the mask requirement, extended until January 2022, is sufficient to protect passengers, citing a study undertaken by the Department of Defense in collaboration with United Airlines.
According to the study, the danger of COVID-19 exposure on-board an aircraft is “essentially nonexistent.” When people put the masks on, there is only a 0.003% chance that particles from one passenger will penetrate the breathing space sitting beside them. The group emphasized that appropriate tools are currently in place to enable secure air travel for Americans.
Mandatory Vaccination: A Go or A No?
Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, was also asked about the possibility of mandatory vaccinations for domestic flights on Monday.
Furthermore, Zients asserted that they are using all available levers to compel vaccines, not ruling out any options. Some big American airlines, including United, have already said that all personnel must be completely vaccinated, with few exceptions.
However, airline CEOs in the United States have expressed doubts about the practicalities of requiring passengers to receive immunizations.
The plan has been deemed “logistically unrealistic” by United CEO Scott Kirby. Last month, he gave a statement on MSNBC that it takes government response and tracking to make it realistic and work. Additionally, he said that it is probably unlikely to happen domestically.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CBS that implementing the regulation in the United States would be a “logistical dilemma” that would “bottleneck the domestic travel system.”