Vaccine Tourism


Courtesy of Village Drugs

People are traveling around the world in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fiona Salisbury, Photojournalist

Across the world and within the United States, people are traveling to different destinations to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Locations that provide vaccines without proof of residency have turned into a tourist location where people travel with one goal in mind-to get vaccinated. Even though many places have put in the effort to prevent vaccine tourism, desperate people have managed to find loopholes in the vaccination system.

Vaccine tourism began with a tour company in India, which offered trips to the United States that included a COVID-19 vaccine and a tour of the destination city as a part of the tour package. This tour company was ultimately unsuccessful in making its vaccine trips a reality, due to the major flaw in their plan: not having a vaccine source. However, the idea of vaccine tourism has grown into something that now occurs across the globe.

Within the United States, Florida has become the hotspot for vaccine tourism. People were able to get vaccinated in Florida, due to the state not requiring people to show proof of residency in order to receive a vaccine. This allowed many people from other states or even other countries to travel to Florida to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. However, the trend of vaccine tourism in Florida may come to an end soon due to the state receiving pushback from several healthcare experts who want the state to prioritize Florida residents.

This practice of traveling to become vaccinated is problematic because it gives an unfair advantage to wealthy people who can afford to travel during a time when many people are financially struggling. Another issue with vaccine tourism is the fact that states already have a shortage of vaccine supplies. Since people are coming from outside places to become vaccinated, this adds to the already existing strain on vaccine supplies. People who live in areas where vaccine tourism occurs may find it more difficult to get vaccinated due to the increased competition to an already limited supply.

Overall, vaccine tourism is a problematic practice. According to Analise Hopper (10) “vaccine tourism is something that people should not participate in.” Even though governments across the world have begun to put in more effort to stop vaccine tourism, it is likely that there will still be people who find loopholes that they can take advantage of. Instead of participating in vaccine tourism, people should wait patiently while others who are at higher risk receive the COVID-19 vaccine first.