Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Insights on Influenza
  • Expert Commentary
  • Science & Research

6 Tips For Safer Thanksgiving Travel

Posted on November 22, 2021

The following article is guest authored by Dr. Alexandria Yarborough, PharmD. She is a Pharmacy Manager in South Carolina and a Families Fighting Flu Advocate. 


COVID-19 infections are on the rise as temperatures drop and holiday plans are made. Unfortunately, an estimated 100 million Americans have yet to receive a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. And holiday travel will undeniably send cases skyrocketing.  About 47,000 patients with the COVID-19 virus are currently hospitalized nationwide, according to Department of Health and Human Services data, along with an average of roughly 1,150 preventable COVID-19 fatalities per day.

Although COVID-19 booster shots have been authorized for all adults before the upcoming holidays, the main focus must be on vaccinating those who have not yet been immunized. It’s also important to realize that most restrictions have been lifted across the country causing not only covid cases to rise but the flu as well. Unfortunately, those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 often refuse flu shots as well.

Our focus over the last 2 years has been on mask mandates and social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus – which are also steps that caused a decrease in flu cases. Now, those measures are often disregarded and many travelers are unsure if family gatherings are appropriate or not.

Airports and roads may seem jam-packed this year as AAA predicts 53.4 million people to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from last year. Most public health experts agree that it’s okay to make Thanksgiving and other holiday plans with trusted friends and family, as long as you’re taking precautions. It’s important to celebrate with the people we love.

Here are 6 tips to keep you safe as we approach the holiday season:

  1. If your family is fully vaccinated, please celebrate together. You’re well protected with vaccines with or without boosters.
  2. If everyone at your table is fully vaccinated but celebrating with someone at a higher risk, celebrate as normal but consider traveling to your high-risk friends and relatives to minimize their risk. Always try to plan around the most vulnerable person.
  3. If the adults are fully vaccinated but the kids are not – pass the pudding, please.  The risk goes down greatly when all eligible adults and teenagers are vaccinated. Partially vaccinated children will have some protection, and younger kids are largely protected if they’re surrounded by vaccinated people.
  4. If not all adults are fully vaccinated, you may be dealing with some difficult conversations and/or hurt feelings this year. Express your concerns factually, and if you do decide to celebrate together, focus on safety and ways to protect the most vulnerable instead of arguing about vaccines.
  5. Other suggestions include utilizing rapid testing via testing locations or at-home kits, increasing ventilation in indoor spaces or considering outdoor gatherings if weather permits, educating yourself on case rates in your area, and staying home if you are experiencing any cough/cold symptoms.
  6. Get vaccinated NOW – before Christmas and the New Year – against COVID-19 and flu! 

Sources:
Towey, R., & Rattner, N. (2021, November 16). Dr. Fauci says Covid cases are starting to climb in some areas of the U.S. CNBC.
Amelia Nierenberg, A (2021, November 19). Coronavirus: Thanksgiving how-to. New York Times.

Share this article:

You might also be interested in...

From the Experts: Taking Control of Flu Season
InFLUencer Nadine Gartner on Changing The Culture of Immunization
Black woman wearing face mask with sleeve up, bandage from vaccination, giving thumbs up
mRNA Technology Offers Hope for Flu Vaccine Advancements

Contact Us

Families Fighting Flu
4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-702
Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 203-4335
1-888-2ENDFLU (1-888-236-3358)

contact@familiesfightingflu.org

Stay Informed
Sign up for our Weekly Flu News and quarterly newsletter, Fighting Influenza, to stay up-to-date on the latest flu news.
Newsletter

LOGO LICENSE AGREEMENT

You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.

  1. FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
  2. You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF.  You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
  3. You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
  4. You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
  5. FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo.  To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
  6. You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”
I Accept