According to Bloomberg, vaccine travel has replaced vacation travel. An increasing number of Americans are now hitting the roads—not to make some dollars in Las Vegas or have fun at Disney World—but to get vaccinated. This is good news one way or the other because the vaccine means a surefire return of tourism throughout the U.S., including Miami.
However, what does vaccine tourism really mean? Here are the details:
What is vaccine tourism?
Florida experienced one of its most groundbreaking decisions when Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the COVID19 vaccine would soon be available for all individuals aged 65 and above. This included the non-residents as well. Soon enough, the decision became widespread throughout the state and got dubbed as ‘vaccine tourism.’ Agencies have started rolling out ‘vaccine tourism’ packages, and those with time and money have already booked their flights.
Who is getting vaccinated?
You’d be surprised to know that some wealthy Canadians were even ready to spend as much as $80,000 and charter special planes to take quick vaccination trips. These would primarily be same-day trips. Although the Canadian government also had a special travel advisory in place, it didn’t prevent anyone from leaving Canada. Vaccine-seeking tourists started flocking in from all parts of the world, and the beach resorts began filling up quickly. The same report from Bloomberg also suggested that as many as 37,000 out-of-staters have been vaccinated in Florida so far. At the same time, around 1 million of those with second residences in Florida also received the vaccine.
Does Florida come first?
Just like every other state, Florida also dealt with somewhat a supply-and-demand problem. The Pinellas County, for instance, had a total of 250,000 seniors but only a weekly supply worth 10,000 vaccine doses. As a result, the appointments filled up rapidly, and appointment websites crashed.
Despite the shortage, a decent number of international travelers still managed to get vaccinated. According to Forbes, the 66-years old Buenos Aires lawyer and Argentinian passport-holder was one of the first ones. This obviously came with some backlash from native Floridians who thought they should have been the first ones to get vaccinated.
As a result, some of Florida’s major hospital systems required that contenders for the vaccine show proof of their U.S. residency. As a result, Governor Ron DeSantis also slightly amended the laws and announced that anyone requiring to get vaccinated must provide at least some proof of part-time residency. They could either present their Florida ID or a utility bill.
Whether you’re planning on traveling to Miami to get the vaccine or spend some time by the seashore, Calle Ocho News is your number one resource for all the exciting updates, information, and travel guidance. From the best places to visit in Miami to what to do in Miami, we have got you covered. We publish regular articles on a wide range of topics, including Miami culture, tourism, food, lifestyle, history, and fashion. Stay tuned for more Miami News.