An US official revealed that the global shortage of vaccines and its excess in the United States has quietly resulted in a new kind of tourism in the US. Rich people from various countries of the world are travelling to the United States to receive the COVID19 jab and do some shopping and then fly back to their home countries after a short stay.
This concept is known as “vaccine tourism” that represents the fastest-growing category of visitors to the SFO Medical Clinic, where the free Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is administered, the San Francisco International Airport said Wednesday.
According to the data released by the international airport in California which is the first US airport to have released such data on vaccine tourism. The airport said, currently, 80 percent of new vaccine appointments at SFO are coming from non-US citizens, and over 1,000 doses have already been administered to visitors from 58 countries across the world.
Out of these 1,000, only eight Indians got the shots. Apart from that, the top five countries on this vaccine tourism list are Taiwan, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea and Peru. The figures are low for India, mainly because of the travel restrictions from India as imposed by the US due to the surge of coronavirus. This trend truly represents a win-win situation for all,” said Airport Director Ivar C Satero.
“It ensures that vaccine doses do not go unused by making them available to those who may have trouble accessing it in their home country. It also stimulates travel and visitor spending for the Bay Area, and most importantly it helps protect against community spread of the virus. My thanks go out to the entire team for making this program a reality,” Satero said.
Since late May, the SFO Medical Clinic, located pre-security in the International Terminal, has been offering free single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines on an appointment basis.