The term “vaccine tourism” is gaining momentum between the second wave of Covid-19 and a worldwide vaccination program. Vaccine tourism has come into the limelight after drafts of a vaccine tour package by a Dubai based travel agency called ‘Arabian Nights Tours’ for Delhi-Moscow.
What is Vaccine Tourism?
Vaccine tourism can be defined as “travelling to different countries for sightseeing with the added benefit of getting a vaccine”. The vaccine tourism package is gaining popularity as many countries have banned travel to and from India due to rising corona cases. Russia is one of the few countries that is currently allowing entry to Indians with negative PCR reports.
Vaccine Tours Package
The vaccine tourism package includes 20 days of accommodation in a hotel, food, flights and a few days of sightseeing. The total cost of this package is 1.3 lakh rupees. Countries like Maldives and America are also working on a similar program to allow people abroad to get vaccinated during their travels.
Is it illegal to get Covid vaccinated abroad?
The Government of India is making every effort to ensure that no one has to go abroad to take advantage of it. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, everyone will be benefited. However, there is a shortage of vaccines in India at this time. As a result, many Indians are wondering if they can go abroad to get vaccinated. Some countries, such as the US and Russia, are allowing vaccinations for other residents as well. Therefore, vaccination abroad will not be illegal if air travel is permitted.
Can Indians go abroad to get vaccinated for Covid-19?
Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tells, “There may be no need for anyone from India to go abroad for vaccination since all eligible Indians will be vaccinated in the country by the end of this year – that too, at the most reasonable rates possible.”
However, the idea of vaccine tourism is gaining momentum in India. Many Indians, who fled to Dubai just before the international flight ban came into effect last month, are said to be availing of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm’s shots in the UAE.
In fact, vaccine tourism is an emerging trend in countries where vaccines are in short supply, or where certain groups are still restricted from being inoculated. Still, there are only a few countries in the world (parts of the US, Russia, Slovakia, Zimbabwe etc) that don’t restrict their vaccination policy to local residents.
Currently, it is not illegal to travel to a foreign country to get vaccinated if air travel is allowed. In January, Florida made it mandatory for those seeking a vaccine to produce proof of local residency. On the other hand, New York City recently announced a plan to use “vaccine tourism” to increase footfalls in the city, offering one-shot jabs to all outsiders who are from the US.