U.S. to drop travel ban: The Biden Administration has chosen to drop the travel ban on fully vaccinated foreign travelers. The European Union and Britain allowed fully vaccinated American travelers to travel without quarantining for months. This restriction relaxation comes after European officials pressed the Biden Administration to relax travel restrictions and to reunite families and employees to businesses for several months. Also included in the new plan, the travel restrictions for unvaccinated Americans have become more strict, with a required COVID test within one day of departure and another one upon reentry to the US.
Significance: For the past 18 months, foreign travelers have been virtually banned from entering the country. With the new travel plan, President Biden has opened up the country to more people. This could possibly lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases; however, the CDC hopes to ramp up contact tracing and proper sanitation on international flights. More European travelers will be coming into the country, more than ever since Biden first became president.
FDA approves human trials of CRISPR: The Federal Drug Administration has approved the first trial of the use of CRISPR as a potential HIV therapy drug. Although antiviral drugs have been used in treatment against HIV, the side effects and long term treatment are not preferable. CRISPR allows for the treatment to cut out the HIV that has wrapped itself around DNA, a revolutionary new idea compared to other antivirals. CRISPR is providing hope that long term elimination and cure of HIV is possible.
Significance: 1.2 million Americans are carriers of HIV in the United States. With the approval of phase 1 of the CRISPR trial, people can now see the future of medicine for HIV. Past drugs for HIV are nowhere near the effectiveness of CRISPR for the possibility of a cure. It’s not just an HIV treatment, it can be the permanent removal of HIV affecting DNA.