Here’s the Deal About Vaccine Tourism – Fodors

Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine) - Unsplash
Here’s the deal about vaccine tourism

London-based journalist Giselle Whiteaker is separated from her 70-year-old mother in Australia. To visit her in Tasmania, she’ll need to quarantine twice and may not be able to leave again. If traveling to another country to get a vaccine might mean seeing her mother early, she would do it, but she pointed out, “Of course, I would assess the risks and there would need to be a balance, and it would depend very much on my confidence in the country to deliver the vaccine safely.”

As an Australian, Whiteaker is far down on the list in the U.K. to be invited for the vaccines that are being administered on priority to assisted living facility residents, healthcare workers, and those at higher risk. “I suspect I wouldn’t make it onto any kind of list until at least the third quarter of [2021]. That’s a long time to be living a restricted life,” she said.

Many others, like Whiteaker, have reasons to pray for a quick process or a way out. But experts are concerned about the quality of healthcare and ethics if governments approve such practices.

Ethics or Profits?

Dr. Gerald T. Keusch, professor of medicine at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, is cautious about medical tourism. “The quality and success for all health care is subject to the qualifications and experience of the practitioner and the trust and confidence of the patient. It may be difficult for patients in one country to assess the qualifications of practitioners in another country. When there is a drug or a vaccine involved as part of the reason, there must also be confidence that the product is what it is supposed to be, is at required potency, and is safe to administer to humans.”

A dose administered to a tourist is a dose being redirected from the local population.

Travelers should also question if the cost of a discount is worth any reduction in quality. Are you willing to risk exposure when traveling? What happens if there’s a bad outcome in the country you’re visiting?

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