Covac Global Insights - 07/02/2021

As the travel industry makes a comeback, caution is the best defense for a permanent end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Authors - Ross Thompson, David Lloyd 
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Covac Global Insights - 08/13/2021

Variants, vaccines: what to know for travel during the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors - Dr. Marc Burdick and David Lloyd 
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Covac Global Insights - 10/19/2021

The COVAC Global Evacuation: Get Sick, Get home
Authors - Ross Thompson, David Lloyd
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Covac Global Insights - 11/10/2021

U.S. Moves to Lift Travel Restrictions as Covac Global Expands its Membership to All Countries
Authors - David Lloyd. Ross Thompson
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Covac Global Insights - 03/10/2022

What is a variant and how do boosters work?
Authors - David Lloyd. Ross Thompson and Dr. Ben Harrison
Read More


Variants, vaccines: what to know for travel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Covac Global Insights

Dr. Marc Burdick and
David Lloyd

As vaccines and general fatigue over the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the loosening of restrictions on travel and social distancing, many people are hopeful that the end of the pandemic is in sight.
But the emergence of new variants, more contagious than the original strain, could threaten the progress that has been made, particularly the longer more people remain unvaccinated.
The development of vaccines has given us a tremendous advantage over COVID-19 and allowed many people to return
to a more normal lifestyle. Although the effectiveness of each different vaccine is not fully understood, clinical trials on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines suggest that they are 94% effective at preventing hospitalization due to COVID-19 among adults 65 and older—essentially making the disease considerably less life threatening for the vaccinated. As encouraging as these data are, the occurrence of breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated demonstrates that vaccines are not a silver bullet in preventing the transmission of symptomatic cases of COVID-19.
In King County Washington, where vaccination rates are some
of the highest in the nation, breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated are becoming a more common occurrence. Although not all the cases are severe, they suggest that the vaccines’ effectiveness at preventing symptomatic cases is much
lower than previously expected.

Many of these breakthrough cases have been linked to the so-called variants of concern, which are denoted by their names derived from the Greek alphabet. Most of the mutations that make up these new variants have little to no effect on viral function, but some have increased the virus’s transmissibility, severity of symptoms, and resistance to vaccines.
One variant in particular, known as Delta, originating in India, and now becoming the dominant strain in many global regions, has garnered much worry. A study from the United Kingdom has suggested that Delta is more transmissible than previous variants and the original strain, and suggests that Delta is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization. Other studies have suggested that vaccine effectiveness of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine or the AstraZeneca vaccine was high for variants and the original strain, but less so for Delta, and effectiveness against Delta after a single dose of each vaccine was low. If more variants like Delta emerge, perhaps even more resistant to the current vaccines and more transmissible, new outbreaks could threaten much of the progress that has been made thus far in combatting COVID-19.
Part of the reason why variants will continue to emerge lies in the low rates of vaccination across the world. Although many wealthy countries have been able to quickly vaccinate a large percentage of their population, such as the United States’ 49.5% full vaccination rate, most underdeveloped countries are lagging behind.

Globally, 26.3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that rate drops to only 1% in underdeveloped countries. Like other viruses, COVID-19 mutates over time. The longer more people remain unvaccinated, the more opportunities the virus has to spread and evolve.
What does this mean for the millions of vaccinated people who are looking to resume travel plans put on hold for a year or more? Because of the increased transmissibility of many of the variants, maintaining reasonably cautious behavior is essential to reduce opportunities for exposure and allow for more time to expand vaccination coverage. Fortunately, many of the COVID vaccines available have been shown to be effective in protecting from serious cases caused by these variants. However, the effectiveness of all the various vaccines against these new variants compared to the original strain is not fully understood. There will be a need for boosters in the near future, and a yearly inoculation against COVID-19, much like influenza, may become the norm.
Smart travel is more important than ever. Travelers should avoid travel to destinations with known outbreaks, be vigilant and have backup plans in case they test positive while travelling. They should consider how they will get home if they test positive and face quarantine outside of their home country.

A COVAC Global membership can help
give travelers the peace of mind that
they need.

Not only does this protect themselves, but it also helps
countries that are less equipped to handle COVID-19
control the spread to vulnerable populations.
Vaccine effectiveness is a cause for celebration, but the
COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and ignoring its lingering
presence could threaten to unravel much of the progress
that has been made.


Dr. Marc Burdick oversees and advises medical operations for Covac Global. In addition to this role, Dr. Burdick is the Chief of Emergency Services and Medical Director for a premier emergency department in Seattle, Washington. He is a Board-Certified Emergency Physician and has actively practiced emergency medicine in Seattle for the past 11 years. Dr. Burdick provides direct medical care, COVID 19 management, telemedical support, in addition to medical and security risk analysis. He helps manage complex medical planning and evacuation services to his clients globally on both a private and corporate level. Dr. Burdick has extensive expertise in maritime and aerospace medicine where he is a medical director and advisor for multiple entities during this past decade. Dr. Burdick has traveled and practiced emergency medicine extensively throughout the world and has been a physician on multiple high-profile expeditions.


David Lloyd specializes in finding solutions to your travel needs. He brings his experience as a contractor for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) organizing diplomatic and global development projects in challenging environments. He is passionate about simplifying complex logistical problems to give you peace of mind while you travel in these unprecedented times.
David holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pepperdine University in California.

Covac Global is
an indemnified evacuation and repatriation service offered through a tiered membership program that — unlike other services — will cover individuals even after they report symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive for the disease.

777 South Flagler Drive, Suite 800 West Tower, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 24/7 Operations Center : +1.561.418.3435 |


As the travel industry makes a comeback,
caution is the best
defense for a permanent end
to the COVID-19

Covac Global Insights

By Ross Thompson, David Lloyd
June 30th, 2021

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has been
one of the most disruptive global events in recent

Perhaps nowhere has its economic effect been felt more poignantly than in international trade and tourism. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the year 2020 saw an estimated $1.3 trillion loss in tourist expenditures worldwide.
While much of the dramatic decrease in travel and tourism can be attributed to individuals deciding to cancel or postpone trips, these decisions were accelerated in no small part by national
or local governments placing restrictions on gatherings, or not permitting the entry of foreign visitors. Though in many cases these measures seemed, and were, extreme, they were often too little too late. In many countries, lockdowns and border closures did not even begin until months after COVID-19 became a global pandemic.
Fortunately, as our understanding of the virus and how to treat cases improved, mortality rates declined, new cases decreased, and individuals gained a better understanding of how to protect themselves and others. Testing methods became frequent and reliable, and opened up the door to a gradual resumption of travel.

However, it was the development of effective vaccines that has truly brought the COVID saga to a crossroads. In the United States, the rollout of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines has surpassed expectations, so that just over 40 percent of all Americans are now fully vaccinated—jumping up to 75 percent in those age 65 and older.
These encouraging developments have given people hope that the pandemic is perhaps winding down, and as some have said, suggest a need to return to business-as-usual.
As tempting as this optimism may be after a year of lockdowns, it must be tempered with caution on the part of individuals, public health officials, and policy makers. Although the U.S.-administered vaccines have demonstrated a 94 to 95 percent effective rate for preventing death and serious illness, there is less data on how effective these vaccines are at preventing the spread of asymptomatic cases. Furthermore, outside of the U.S., the rollout of effective vaccines has been less than ideal. In Europe, problems and delays plagued the release of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, while the

effectiveness of vaccines developed in China and used across the developing world has been under scrutiny.
One case that has caused considerable hand wringing was that of the tiny island nation of the Seychelles. With a population of under 100,000, it quickly became the most vaccinated country on Earth and a litmus test for herd immunity. Yet within a few weeks new cases spiked, sending public health experts scrambling for answers. Although many health experts have stated that more information is needed to determine exactly what happened in the Seychelles, the very lack of answers is reason enough to maintain precautionary measures at borders such as PCR tests for entry and exit, enhanced sanitation, masks, and social distancing.
Regardless of the unique situation in the Seychelles, most countries around the world simply do not have access to any vaccines. Building global herd immunity could take months, by which time new variants of COVID-19 could potentially emerge. Although scientists have confirmed that existing vaccines are effective against the new variants that have come out of the U.K., South Africa, and India, there is much that is still unknown.
Without governments and border security agencies continuing to keep track of positive cases of people transiting their countries, any new variants could have the potential to undo the work so many have done to control the spread of the virus.

Complacent dependence on vaccines is short-sighted when medical scientists have so little understanding
of how and where new variants emerge and what percentage of vaccinated people is needed to build herd immunity.
A cautious approach, with testing required for travelers to cross borders, is still perhaps the best weapon we have against the virus.
As the World Health Organization has repeatedly warned, vaccinations are only one tool in a broader strategy
to stop the spread of the virus. As those who are fully vaccinated look forward to travelling again, they should be mindful that there are large portions of the world, particularly in poorer regions, that are not vaccinated and have limited access to medical care should they fall sick.
To tackle such a massive global problem, people must think globally, and enact and abide by policies that work to slow the spread of the virus in all communities, not just their own.
As a company that works in tandem with the travel
and tourism industries, COVAC Global is eager to see international travel return to pre-pandemic levels. However, abandoning safety restrictions at borders could jeopardize all the gains that have been made in containing the virus.
At COVAC Global we want you to travel, but we want you to do so safely, taking all the necessary precautions and abiding by national restrictions to ensure that
our eagerness to get our lives back does not become recklessness.

Covac Global is
an indemnified evacuation and repatriation service offered through a tiered membership program that — unlike other services — will cover individuals even after they report symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive for the disease.

777 South Flagler Drive, Suite 800 West Tower, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 24/7 Operations Center : +1.561.418.3435 |


The COVAC Global Evacuation:
Get Sick, Get home

Covac Global Insights

By Ross Thompson, David Lloyd
October 19th, 2021

As a COVAC Global member, if you
find yourself sick with COVID while
traveling, the process is simple.
Call our 24/7 operations number,
and wherever you are, our highly
trained team will coordinate with
the aeromedical assets closest to
you, conduct a brief medical consult,
and once you send us your PCR test
results, take care of the rest.

COVAC Global is the world’s first fully indemnified
COVID-19 evacuation and repatriation program,
staffed with our team of medical and repatriation
experts who bring decades of experience getting
people home quickly and safely from even the most
challenging environments. From the moment one of
our members calls in sick with COVID-19, our global
team mobilizes to execute a series of procedures
that gets them home as safely and efficiently as

Once we determine your location and condition,
we will send ground transport directly to you. If
your condition is severe, we will have medical staff
standing by to provide treatment the moment you
are under our care.
Our operations are not limited just to cars,
ambulances, and planes either. Some
recent members who were staying on
isolated islands were even transported
via helicopter and speedboat to the air
ambulance and then home.
Landing permits, clearance to transport
a COVID-positive patient, overflight
permits, and CDC clearance (for our
U.S. based clients) can be complicated.
This is something our members never
need to worry about. Behind the scenes,
our repatriation experts are compiling
the necessary paperwork to ensure
all the legal requirements are met and
accounted for. Once we obtain all the
proper clearances on both the inbound
and outbound destinations for evacuating
and repatriating a COVID-positive patient,
our pilots get on the flight schedule.

Once you arrive at the airfield, you will be taken to one of our
private air ambulances, fully equipped with all the necessary
equipment needed to handle severe COVID cases, and a
medical staff consisting of flight doctors, specialist nurses,
and paramedics. These aircraft are designed to handle the
full spectrum of medical emergencies, and while we do our
utmost to ensure our members are comfortable, members
should expect the surroundings to be those of an emergency
vehicle. While in air, we opt for the least invasive options to
keep our members safe, for mild cases our members can
expect to wear PPE along with our flight crew. For severe
cases, we will have exactly the provisions needed to keep
your members safe.
Upon landing in your home country, at whatever available
airfield is closest to your home, we will have transport waiting
for you to take you directly to your home or, if necessary, to
your hospital or doctor.
This entire process can often be completed within the day for
close destinations, such as Mexico to the U.S., and will rarely
take more than a couple of days even for far flung destinations
or complicated cases.
COVAC Global is not travel insurance, and we are committed
to treating our members with the highest level of care and
attentiveness. While there is no expectation of payments
directly to our members, we will not surprise you with any
hidden fees or charge a deductible should you need to be
evacuated – all our members pay is the original cost of the
Rest assured, COVAC Global will work tirelessly to get you
home should you fall sick with COVID-19 while traveling. We
have developed our expert team and efficient evacuation
process so that you can rest easy while you travel, knowing
that if you need us, we will be ready.

Covac Global is
an indemnified evacuation and repatriation service offered through a tiered membership program that — unlike other services — will cover individuals even after they report symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive for the disease.

777 South Flagler Drive, Suite 800 West Tower, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 24/7 Operations Center : +1.561.418.3435 |


U.S. Moves to Lift Travel Restrictions
as Covac Global Expands its
Membership to All Countries

Covac Global Insights

By Ross Thompson, David Lloyd
November 19th, 2021

In July of 2021, Covac Global opened
memberships to citizens of all countries, no
longer restricting its COVID-19 evacuation
and repatriation program to just citizens
of the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the
company released the Medical Membership,
which provides evacuation and repatriation
for members who have a medical emergency
and need to avoid a potentially costly stay in
a hospital abroad.

These exciting expansions will allow for our
services to be used by a much more expansive
pool of travelers and give new members
more options for keeping themselves and
their families safe while traveling. Members
from other countries will have access to the
same level of care and our global network of
aeromedical assets as our members from the
U.S. and Canada. The triggers and process
are the same as well—simply call our 24/7
operations number after received a positive
PCR test and at least one (self-reported) COVID
symptom, and we will take care of the rest to
get you home.

The timeliness of these additions is especially
fortuitous given the U.S.’s plans to open its
borders to vaccinated travelers from thirty-three
countries starting on November 8, including
travelers from the European Schengen area,
who have been barred from entering the U.S.
since January. Travelers from these countries
simply need to provide proof of vaccination and
a pre-departure negative COVID test taken no
more than three days ahead of boarding upon

With the lifting of these travel restrictions, we expect
to see more Europeans travelling to the U.S. who will be
looking for ways in which they can protect themselves
from getting COVID in the U.S. and having to quarantine or
having a medical emergency that requires hospitalization.
The Covac Global Medical Membership is particularly
useful for Europeans given the high cost of unsubsidized
healthcare in the U.S. With the Medical Membership, Covac
Global will transport you home on a fully equipped and
staffed air ambulance to undergo treatment at your home
hospital—avoiding a potentially costly stay in a U.S. hospital
or elsewhere.
Covac Global also works directly with corporate clients
to ensure global businesses fulfill their duty of care
responsibilities and provide safeguards for their personnel
to continue business around the world.
Ultimately Covac Global is working to cover more and
more travel contingencies to take as much stress from
our members as possible in these unpredictable times.
With a Covac Global membership, you get the peace of
mind knowing our team of evacuation and repatriation
experts and medical professionals are behind you in case
something doesn’t go as planned.

Literally door to
door. While some
companies evacuate
travelers who require
hospitalization, Covac
Global retrieves
travelers who test
positive for Covid-19
and have one selfreported symptom.

Covac Global is
an indemnified evacuation and repatriation service offered through a tiered membership program that — unlike other services — will cover individuals even after they report symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive for the disease.

777 South Flagler Drive, Suite 800 West Tower, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 24/7 Operations Center : +1.561.418.3435 |

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