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Vaccine tourism causing cancellations and paranoia

Are appointment cancellations instilling paranoia in the locals due to vaccine tourism?

Ever since the pandemic surfaced, every individual had one question: ‘when is the vaccine coming out?’ Well, it turns out, Miami has all the answers and an excellent target for vaccine tourism! 

What is vaccine tourism like?

Vaccine tourism basically refers to individuals traveling from other states and countries to get vaccinated, especially if the vaccine is not yet available in their hometown. The concept has sparked a frenzy because the COVID-19 vaccine is not available worldwide—as yet. 

The term ‘vaccine tourism’ is said to have originated in India when a local travel agency announced a 4-day vaccine trip from Mumbai to NYC for those with valid 10-year US visas. The package cost around $2000.

Ever since the concept of vaccine tourism became breaking news across Florida, wealthy individuals have been flocking in from all parts of the world to get their jabs. 

Why is the rollout messy?

The main conundrum is that the vaccine demand is much greater than the supply. On top of that, Florida has around 4.4 million elderly who want to get vaccinated right away. As a result, the residents became desperate. The phone lines soon became exhausted, and the appointment websites crashed. There wasn’t a central state-controlled system in place to regulate the appointments. As a result, you may see senior citizens waiting in lines overnight, only to find that the doses ran out before their turn. 

Is vaccine tourism going against the locals?

Here’s the dilemma: When as many as 1.27 million individuals had been vaccinated in the state. Out of these, 41,000 were non-residents. This came as good news for locals who stood in lines for hours, only to find out that some rich traveler took over their appointment from Argentina. As a result, Governor Ron DeSantis faced a great deal of criticism to the point that he eventually had to bend the rules. He was soon compelled to announce that the vaccine was for Florida residents and not tourists. According to the new policy, seniors would be prioritized above international tourists. 

As long as you’re a local, you’ve got a great chance of qualifying for the vaccine. But other than that, too, there are plenty of good things to do in Miami. For more info about what to do and the best places to visit, reach out to Calle Ocho News.

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