As COVID-19 vaccines emerged for the first times at the end of 2020, vaccine tourism has become a new phenomenon and become an incredibly rare commodity. Qualifications for eligibility varied from one country, state and even county to the next, and changed often.
These are the circumstances that gave rise to people traveling just to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Timeline, Some of Vaccine Tourism News, Articles and Updates
January 09, 2021
Residents of foreign countries have obtained COVID vaccinations in Florida, taking advantage of the state’s loose rules on who can get a shot. The list includes a prominent Argentine lawyer, business leaders and Canadians whose home countries restrict vaccines to first-responders, medical personnel and a few other groups.
January 26, 2021
In the United States, some foreigners also taking advantage of Florida’s loose defition for eligibility. Anyone, regardless of residency, could get a shot as long as they were 65 or older. A television host from Mexico were among the foreigners taking advantage.
February 12, 2021
People are traveling out of state to get COVID-19 vaccines. Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have all vaccinated non-residents. Vaccine seekers may travel due to work, part-time residency, or frustration with rollout in their home state.
In Germany, travel companies want to bring some of the German demand for the vaccine to countries with a healthier supply. In February, German travel agency Fit Reisen (in English “Fit Travel”) began advertising for so-called “Impfreisen,” or “vaccine vacations.”
March 10, 2021
The Maldives is contemplating the introduction of vaccine tourism across its collection of over 200 resort islands, as tourist arrivals begin to grow in the post-pandemic era. The proposal was made by tourism minister Abdulla Mausoom during a recent meeting of the country’s legislature, where he said that the government is considering promoting the Maldives as a working vacation destination under the tagline ‘Visit, Vaccine and Vacation’.
- Foreign nationals getting their COVID shots in Florida (South Florida Sun Sentinel, 08.01.2021)
- Mexican TV host under fire after going to Florida to get COVID vaccine (NYPost, 26.01.2021)
- Maldives mulls vaccine tourism to boost arrivals (TTG Asia, 10.03.2021)
- Medical Tourism Destinations with a COVID-19 vaccine included (ETurboNews, 12.02.2021)
- Vaccine tourists are traversing the US to get a COVID-19 shot. Here are 4 states treating visitors. (Business Insider, 13.02.2021)
- Florida COVID-19 Vaccine Summary, vaccination data through Mar 25, 2021 as of March 26, 2021.