‘Vaccine tourism’: Perks and issues of travelling to get COVID-19 photographs – Nationwide

When the US state of Florida opened its coronavirus vaccines to people over the age of 65 earlier this month, Canadian seniors who had already settled in the southern state for the winter took the opportunity.

The Snowbirds Perry and Rose Cohen were among them. The Toronto couple will receive their second shot of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday.

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While the Cohens, like many other snowbirds, own property in the state, it has also been reported that foreigners and foreigners come to Florida specifically to get vaccinated.

Following setbacks from local residents and officials, the state enacted new rules last week requiring proof of at least part-time residency, such as an electricity bill or rental agreement, to be eligible for the vaccine.

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“To just come from another country or whatever, we don’t support that and we won’t let that happen,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a press conference on January 19th in Jupiter, Florida. “We’re not doing any ‘Vaccine Tourism’. “

Martin Firestone, a Toronto-based travel insurance broker, said the policy change would affect Canadians planning to stay in rental homes or with their friends.

“Now they are out of luck because they thought about getting the vaccine while they were down there,” he told Global News.

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Health Canada has been advising against non-essential travel since March last year. But that hasn’t stopped Canadians, controversial several politicians, from going abroad.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his appeal on Friday, urging Canadians not to travel outside or inside the country.

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“Right now nobody should be vacationing abroad,” Trudeau said during a press conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday.

“If you have one planned, cancel it and don’t book a trip for the spring break.”

Let me be very clear: Nobody should go on vacation abroad. If you’ve got one planned, cancel it – and don’t book a trip for the spring break. We have to hold on and hold on for the next few months and get through to the pen in the best possible shape.

– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 22, 2021

While medical tourism is not a new phenomenon, traveling to another country to get a vaccine during a pandemic raises several concerns. Last but not least, there is a risk of being exposed to the virus while traveling.

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Firestone, who has advised its customers not to travel, said being unable to access hospitals overseas in an emergency was a major concern, especially for its older, more vulnerable customers.

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According to the Medical Tourism Index, Canada is the top country in the list of health destinations, followed by Singapore, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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In the initial phase of Canada’s nationwide rollout, which began in mid-December, priority will be given to frontline health workers, residents and long-term care workers, the elderly and indigenous communities.

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With doses open only to citizens and high priority residents, people are highly unlikely to get on a plane to get to Canada anytime soon to receive the vaccine.

There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine and negative test requirement that went into effect on January 7th.

In a statement emailed to Global News, Transport Canada said the new pre-test requirements for passengers planning to fly to Canada from other countries have “unsurprisingly” resulted in a “decrease in future bookings, like the airlines have publicly stated “.

Click here to play the video.  'Coronavirus: Trudeau says no one should be traveling abroad right now.'

Coronavirus: Trudeau says nobody should go abroad now

Coronavirus: Trudeau says nobody should go abroad now

Luxury vacation

Dubai ranks sixth in the Medical Tourism Index.

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The city has already become a hub for the super-wealthy who have been flown in to get vaccinated by Knightsbridge Circle, a renowned luxury concierge service.

A month-long vacation package for an estimated $ 70,000 includes a world-class Emirates flight, accommodation in an ocean-view apartment while you wait for your second dose, and a private vaccination, according to a report from The Telegraph in the UK

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The super-rich are using luxury concierge services to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Stuart McNeill, founder of Knightsbridge Circle, told the British newspaper that around 20 percent of the members have already flown to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to receive the vaccine.

McNeill said the two UAE cities offer private vaccination against the Pfizer vaccine and in India the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.

“They land, have their first push and wait for the second,” he said. “We have some people who go to India all the time and others talk about going in, having the first thrust, going to Madagascar and coming back later for the second thrust.”

Meanwhile, some Indian travel agents are reportedly promoting vaccine travel packages, including round-trip flights from India to the US and the UK

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In a tweet, Mumbai-based Gem Tours and Travels says, “We’re developing vaccine tourism.”

It asks people to register with their name, email address, and cell phone number, and says that everything will be done in accordance with official US permits.

Nimesh Shah, head of the B2B division at Gem Tours and Travels, told Reuters the company had registered more than 5,000 people who wanted to travel to the US for the vaccine and had valid US visas.

Hello everybody,
Please note our disclaimer and stay away from fake messages and tweets. # Vaccinetourism #gemtravels pic.twitter.com/Ro3W3mVBMi

– Gem Travels (@Gem_Travels) November 24, 2020

Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, said it was “very ethically problematic” for people to travel to another country to get vaccinated when supplies are limited.

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“There are ethical concerns and you are dealing with an entirely different health system that you may not know that much about,” he said.

However, once more doses become available, “vaccine tourism may emerge all over the world,” Bowman added.

It depends on travel restrictions, the situation in your own country, and whether other countries are opening up to the private sale of vaccines.

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Why skipping the coronavirus vaccine line is a problem

Given the limited supply in the initial stages of the rollout, private companies and individuals have a small window of time to get the doses early if they so choose, said Anita Ho, an associate professor of bioethics and health services research at the University of British Columbia in one previous interview with Global News.

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Canadian couple accused of waiting in line in the Yukon

Canadian couple accused of waiting in line in the Yukon

The federal government is aiming to vaccinate all Canadians who want to be vaccinated by September, but most people are not confident they will get it immediately, recent polls show.

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According to an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News earlier this month, 13 percent of Canadians believe their turn will be at this September target, while 19 percent believe they will have access to the vaccine before the end of March will. And 18 percent of Canadians believe they won’t be eligible for the vaccine this year.

“People may be much more encouraged to go to countries that have a massive rollout,” Bowman said.

“Well, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do, but I could see this happening because Canadians are going to start feeling desperate.”

– with files from Chris Jancelewicz from Global News

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