Vaccine tourism is on rise

 Friday, January 22, 2021 


Americans are exploring the travel world once again. However, they’re not going to Chicago on business or to Las Vegas and Disney World for holiday reasons. They’re going in search of vaccines.

Aggravated by websites witnessing crashing appointment rush, shortages of Covid-19 shots and a patchwork of confusing rules in regard to eligibility, people with money are moving out of town, looking for potentially life-saving inoculation.

In Miami, tourists looking for vaccines are showing up. At beach resorts in Hawaii, ski towns in Colorado and in New York City, similar picture is being noticed, receiving more doses than other parts of the state, as well as nearby New Jersey and Connecticut.

There is no national data, yet states that keep track put forward the fact that tens of thousands of Americans are going here and there searching for vaccine. In Florida, over 37,000 out-of-state travelers have received Covid-19 shots, as per state data as of Tuesday. The figure keeps out people who have second residences or businesses in the state, where more than 1 million have been vaccinated.

As per Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, over 17 million doses have been administered across the U.S. Health policy experts have explained that the more people with shots in arms, the better. Yet vaccine tourism raises apprehension for the people who don’t have that financial support or aren’t healthy enough to travel for immunization. Also, there are ethical questions about whether it’s correct to appropriate a dose intended for a specific city or state. The tourism industry is yet to launch large marketing campaigns to keep away from appearing to promote skirting the rules. Also, health experts are anxious about people traveling for immunization.

“Everything we can do to get more people vaccinated will decrease the spread of Covid,” said Marissa J. Levine, a public health professor at the University of South Florida. “But we’re in a situation where demand is outstripping supply significantly, so that puts people on edge if they perceive that others are coming in to take their vaccine, even if it’s really all of our vaccine.”

Technically, vaccines are federal property that doesn’t belong to any one locality, making residency requirements tough to put into effect, said Levine, who served four years as Virginia’s state health commissioner.

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