At times of crisis, it is useful to speak to those on the front line. As Chair of the British Global and Travel Health Association (BGTHA), and a specialist in travel health and vaccination, Katy Peters is well placed to offer some clarity on how COVID-19 will affect the travel industry, while most of us navigate a sea of rumour and uncertainty.
Katy is also Founder and CEO of the London Vaccination Clinic (LVC). Plan South America and the LVC have worked together in the past to provide tailored health and vaccination programmes for our travellers. Like so many businesses, LVC has been rocked by the effects of COVID-19, closing 7 of their 8 clinics and adapting to ‘the new reality’, researching tests and setting up the online shop.
The LVC is committed to a healthy future, offering home swab testing (by post) and in-clinic antibody testing in their Notting Hill branch.
The home tests, manufactured by Abbott, come from the US. They are to be used 14 days after showing active symptoms, or anytime after you have been in contact with someone with the infection. We have arranged a priority service with the LVC for all Plan South America clients. In clinic blood tests are also available, and to be carried out 21 days or more after symptoms first appeared.
1. Antibody Finger prick Test – Home Test – Results take 1-2 days – £195 (100% accuracy)
2. Blood Test – In Clinic – Results take 3-5 days – £395 (95% accuracy)
3. Care Home Kits, including masks, a thermometer and sanitiser-gel – £26.40 (Sent within 1-2 working days)
Scientists around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but there is a lot to be done. A team in Oxford, UK started work designing a vaccine on Saturday 10th January 2020. At the time of writing, they have identified a vaccine candidate and are working towards the first clinical testing phase. At the same time as preparing for and conducting the first clinical trial, production of the vaccine is being scaled up ready for larger trials, and potentially, future deployment.
An optimistic scenario might see a vaccine approved by Christmas 2020, but an 18-24 month timeline is more realistic.
NEW REALITIES FOLLOWING COVID-19
The likelihood is that international air travellers will need to provide proof of a negative or antibody test 72hrs prior to departure. Plan South America remains committed to delivering the greatest adventures Latin America has to offer and working to ensure that both your health and your experience of our favourite continent has never been better.