The innovative processes to vaccinate the masses in the world have now kicked off the concept of vaccine tourism. This approach will revive the hard-hit tourism industry in the wake of COVID-19 and enhance the vaccination drive that will help the world escape the pandemic.
Seeing the smaller countries, including the Maldives, following suit, I believe that it is an excellent opportunity for the United States to revive its tourism industry both for local and foreign travelers.
As the United States is the fastest nation to get its people vaccinated, with many doses of the coronavirus vaccine available, it could start this initiative on an urgent basis.
The concept consists of multi-pronged strategies, including allowing tourism for the already-vaccinated individuals, inviting people for tourism, and providing them with the vaccination doses before starting the tourism.
Tourism companies are arranging tourist visas to countries with available vaccinations, and travelers take a shuttle directly from airports to the COVID-19 vaccine sites. This is an excellent opportunity for the US to lead the initiative, as the US remains the only country with a significant over-supply of vaccines.
What is vaccine tourism, and how can the United States lead the global efforts in this regard? Let’s see.
COVID-19 Vaccine Tourism: An Ultimate Way to Revive Tourism and Vaccination in Parallel
The concept initially started in December 2020, although the name came about recently when the Indian tour operators were advertising trips to different world locations with a relatively large supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The trips were arranged for $1,777 per person and were aimed to vaccinate people after completing the isolation in the destination country.
Then the concept became popular elsewhere in the world, as a wealthy Canadian couple disguised as health care workers chartered a private plane to Beaver Creek.
This couple went to the place to spend the holidays and become one of the few people getting easily vaccinated.
During this time, the Florida Governor dictated that individuals over 65 could be vaccinated, even without having a permanent residency in the state.
This made many wealthy executives head towards Florida, further promoting the concept of vaccine tourism. The state of Florida even received vaccine tourists from Argentina and Brazil.
Religion is also playing a pivotal role in vaccine tourism, especially in the Jewish communities, as a score of travel agencies are arranging Israel trips for the jews for vaccines.
The UAE and Cuba are also campaigning the vaccine tourism, offering people to visit and live and get free shots of COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine Tourism: A Phenomenon which must not Compromise the Local Health Safety:
The phenomenon is developing in the US with every passing day. Florida, especially South Florida, has become the top destination for domestic and international vaccine tourists.
The state recently implemented a new protocol of identification rules to prioritize the Florida residents, but this came after 50,000 out-of-state residents have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is pertinent to note here that locals must be given preference. The pursuit of money of the wealthy foreigners must not hinder the national interest of vaccinating all US residents.
In the case of vaccine tourism overlooking the local population, the pandemic is likely to strangle the United States once again, which should be monitored at regular intervals.
This is why the United States must balance vaccine nationalism and vaccine tourism so that both the concepts can run in parallel.
Once all the locals are vaccinated, vaccine tourism can be launched in full flow. That will substantiate the country’s economy and act toward developing the humane image of the United States.
It is time for the larger states to initiate vaccine tourism. On the one hand, it will catalyze the snail’s pace of the local business dependent on tourism, and on the other hand, it will give other countries the green light to work on similar initiatives.
Distributing vaccines is never a questionable approach as long as it is not compromising local health safety.
It is also appropriate to note that vaccine diplomacy must not be stopped in parallel, as not every individual can visit other countries to obtain vaccinations.
It is time for the people on the authoritative chairs to make the decision along these lines so that the world can see the beginning of normalization once again.