The possibility of traveling to Asia in the future may be one of the reasons why vaccines for travelers are required by airlines. In the United States, the Department of Health has stated that some vaccines will no longer be available or could cause problems after 2020. The vaccines have caused some issues in the past, including mumps, meningitis, and chickenpox. For a full list of vaccines currently required by airlines, check with your travel insurance company or visit Vaccine Finder.
One possible vaccine that could soon require airlines is the vaccine for rabies. Rabies is highly contagious and can lead to death within twelve hours of being bitten. If you are bitten by a diseased animal and need to seek medical attention, you must show proof of vaccination before your doctor can order an oonaryngoplasty or other corrective procedure to relieve the pain. This is especially important in Asia, where the disease is widespread. Rabies is particularly a problem in India and Pakistan, which accounts for more than half of the 6.6 million Rabies cases in the United States.
There is also a new vaccine being required that will prevent children under five years from catching encephalitis, or “yellow feet.” This is a disease that leads to seizures and sometimes causes comatose. An infant with encephalitis should not be placed on an aircraft flying to any destination in the United States. If you are flying to Asia and need this vaccine, it will not be covered by your coverage if you obtained your Asian visa before your 21st birthday or obtained an eligible visitor visa before your fifth birthday.
Another potential vaccine being required by airlines is Lassa. Lassa is also known as Lassa fever, or Lassa type 3. It is part of a family of vaccines called Zoster vaccines, designed to prevent several types of infections caused by viruses called enteroviruses. Some of these include gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and viral meningitis. Unless you are traveling to areas of the world that have a low incidence of this disease, you probably won’t be required to have Lassa.
While expats who have obtained a visa through CEA can bring Lassa-V vaccinated upon arriving at the thirty-first day of your destination, others must wait until your visa expires. For example, if expats obtain their CEA visa late during the primary year, they cannot legally have the vaccine on board. If this happens, your luggage may be held at the airport until you depart to find a proper slot for your vaccination.
Those who have purchased a CEA or Qumeda pass will be exempt from having the vaccine. However, expats whose CEA or Qumeda passes are canceled during the primary or secondary licensing year will have to wait until their approved leave date for CEA or Qumeda to apply for a leave of absence or deferment. There is an exception to this rule when CEA or Qumeda are being issued for travelers traveling with their children. This can only be done if you are traveling with an infant who will be under the age of one at the time of travel.
Airlines requiring expats have Lassa-V vaccine will also affect those who have purchased tickets on airlines that fly to Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil. An individual can get a visa once they clear immigration requirements. However, it will not be possible to use the same passport to return to these destinations. It is possible that an individual could be forced to surrender their passport to leave the country. This is the reason why airlines have implemented the 2020 video law to prevent illegal border crossing.
An individual who owns a Lassa-V vaccinated passport and purchases tickets for travel abroad should contact their local immunization center to find out if they will need a Lassa-R booster shot after they return to the US. The vaccinations are not given to adults who are between the ages of six to 21 years old. There is a slight possibility that the doctor may refuse the booster shot due to financial issues. If this happens, the individual would have to arrange for their own Lassa-R booster shot. Those who do not have health insurance may also be in danger if they receive an erroneously interpreted flight crew directive or an emergency evacuation order from the airlines.