Vaccine tourism: What do you need to know before getting vaccinated in the United States?

An Aeroméxico employee receives a Pfizer vaccine at Miami International Airport in May 2021.Joe Riedel / Agence France-Presse

Vaccine tourism is a phenomenon derived from the Coronavirus pandemic today Killed more than 3.3 million lives all over the world. The United States has become an oasis for some Latin American countries where the vaccination process is slow or simply uncertain. Faced with doubts and waiting, groups of people began traveling to the northern country with the sole aim of receiving a dose or doses of the immune system. “Vaccine tourism” is possible because some countries, faced with the increased supply of vaccines, vaccinate non-residents regardless of their legal status within the country.

The public opening of the Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners is being considered for all those who are already within the North American country, and who have no way of returning to their countries of origin. However, this gap not only allowed foreigners, legal or illegal, living in the United States to receive injections, but it also prompted new travelers, under the pretext of a vacation visit, to take a trip to train for a vaccine.

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According to the portal Traveling off the trackIn some states, supply is greater than demand, so local governments began distributing the vaccine through supermarkets or self-service stores such as WalmartAnd the Safe way s Costco, Where You only need to register over the phone or online to request an appointment In the desired branch. Despite the fact that these strains are spread across the country, not all US entities provide vaccinations to non-residents. The same goes for pharmaceutical companies Walgreens s CVS. The latter received 250,000 doses at the start of the year as part of a partnership with the federal government.

According to the same site, the states that do vaccinate without proof of legal residency are Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida. The New York government, which initially received complaints from residents who opposed the measure, also opened up List of sites Where tourists can set an appointment to receive the vaccine. The only requirement, in all cases, is that he must be at least 16 years old upon receiving the dose through identification. Before scheduling an appointment, it is essential to check the laboratory that has vaccines in stock in each state, as Moderna, Pfizer (2 doses in both cases) and Johnson & Johnson (single dose) generally apply.

Musician Chava Elisalitori, originally from Mexico City, is vaccinated at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, USA.

The vaccination campaign in the United States of America, at full speed

Texas, Louisiana and Arizona have been among the leading states in introducing surplus syringes, since the end of March and calling for non-residents to ask for appointment vaccination. The Colorado Department of Public Health, in addition to reaffirming that it is not necessary to be a citizen or have legal residence to obtain a free vaccine against the Coronavirus, ensures that information is not shared for legal or immigration purposes.

As a result of the potential for vaccination within the United States, many travel agencies have begun marketing travel packages that include vaccinations, round-trip trips, accommodation, car rentals and even travel insurance, ranging from $ 1,000 (€ 820), depending on the destination. The legal advantage, for foreigners in the United States, is that visa type B1 and B2, for non-immigrants, does not mean that a person interested in vaccination cannot do so within the country, so receiving vaccination is not illegal.

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