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Outtakes: Do Travel Bans Work?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have embraced travel restrictions as a means of containing — or keeping out — the virus. But this is a blunt instrument — and, in most cases, not a particularly effective one.


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Elmira Bayrasli: Welcome to Opinion Has It Outtakes. I’m Elmira Bayrasli. We’ve got a shorter episode for you today. We’re following up with last week’s guest, Jennifer Nuzzo. Jennifer is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security. In our last conversation, she showed us how likely another pandemic is and proposed strategies for mitigating the risks. But we still haven’t escaped the COVID-19 pandemic. The global vaccine rollout has run up against major obstacles.

Archive Recording: While the US is on track to have enough vaccines for every American adult by May, other countries will have to wait a while longer.

Archive Recording: It’s an issue known as vaccine nationalism: the idea that rich countries would purchase vaccines for their populations first, and that could actually prolong the pandemic around the world.

Archive Recording: Much of continental Europe is suffering through a third and brutal wave of COVID-19. Making matters worse, the drive to vaccinate throughout the European Union is faltering badly.

EB: The longer the vaccine process takes, the more likely new variants are to emerge.

Archive Recording: The government has confirmed that indeed, a novel variant of the coronavirus has been found in India. [It] has been detected.