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What Travelers Should Know About Vaccines Abroad

Jan 05, 2023 By Madison Evans

Some persons in the United States and elsewhere had engaged in what has been labelled "vaccine tourism" to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination before it was made widely available in their home country.

It's a concept introduced previously to seek medical treatment outside of one's home nation. Heart procedures, in vitro fertilization, and breast augmentation are just a few therapies that send patients packing.

Vaccine tourism refers to travelling to another region to receive a vaccination that is not legally permitted on your own. 1 Despite a sluggish deployment in many areas and a lack of international availability, the COVID-19 vaccine has become the focus of vaccination tourism.

Is It OK To Travel Abroad To Be Vaccinated?

As far as I know, not. No official agreements have been made with foreign authorities to guarantee that these "vaccine tourists" will get the dose they are promised. The morality of those with means travelling to another state or nation to receive a COVID vaccine while others wait their turn by criteria set forth by their own is a matter of equal concern.

Vaccination In Florida: A Popular Destination

The vaccination distribution in Florida, one of the first states to offer it to all residents aged 65 and over, was fine. This occurred partly because, at first, those receiving the vaccination weren't required to provide proof of citizenship or lawful presence. Thus, in January 2021, individuals from all over the United States and even as far away as Argentina went to Florida to obtain their vaccinations at the state's outstanding public health facilities.

Clamping Down

That chink in the armour was sealed. Gov. Ron DeSantis made these remarks on January 19, 2021: "This service is restricted to Floridians solely at this time. You need to make this place your permanent or at least temporary home."

Two days later, xdThe addition of seasonal residents, sometimes known as "snowbirds," was welcome news for many who spend the winter in Florida. Currently, "we do have part-time residents that are here all winter.

"It's great if they get their medical care here or do whatever else they want to do. We don't want any visitors from other countries. We prioritize the needs of the elderly, but we also value the needs of the local community, "the addition of DeSantis.

Travelling To The United States for Vaccinations

Vaccine "tourism" has also occurred in other locations in the United States. In January 2021, for instance, Mark told News that they travelled almost two hours to be vaccinated at a Publix drugstore in Carroll County, Georgia.

Connie informed the station that she was 68 years old and had heart problems and that they were comfortable with the fact that they were travelling from out of state. We didn't want to make anyone feel unwanted, as Connie put it.

Without tight residence rules, someone from South Carolina or another neighbouring state who worked in a hospital or was 75 or older may receive the immunization meant for a North Carolina resident.

Per-State Eligibility Criteria

In the United States, vaccination requirements and availability are handled case-by-case by the 50 separate states. In October 2021, the New York Times reported that some municipal public health agencies had set up online appointment-making systems for vaccinations while others had organized first-come, first-served mass vaccination programs.

It was possible to find out if you qualified for the vaccination in several places online; those who couldn't get the injection right away might sign up for a waiting list.

You need not be a legal resident of a state to qualify for certain benefits there. On its official website, California's state government says that "vaccine distribution is based on eligibility regardless of residency or immigrant status."

Is Vaccination Tourism Acceptable?

Prof. Caplan argues that the potential adverse effects of vaccination tourism on healthcare equality might be mitigated under certain conditions. As he puts it, "I'm not against doing what you need to do to protect yourself or your family, but you should not do it at the cost of others."

He argues that travelling to a nation with an "abundant vaccine supply," where there are enough vaccine doses "to distribute to everybody in the whole country," may be justifiable, albeit still ethically difficult.

When Will Vaccination Tourism Become Obsolete?

The bioethicist is optimistic that vaccination tourism will disappear in the future. However, he acknowledges that this controversial activity may take some time to be eliminated. I'm not sure that [vaccine tourism] will disappear in the next couple of years.

I know this because the global polio eradication effort has been going strong for over 30 years. Immunizations are necessary, but so are "roads, refrigerators, needles, and personnel who provide vaccines have to be educated," he continues.

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