Serbia Welcomes Vaccine Tourism With Free Shots

Serbia is giving vaccines away free to visiting foreigners this weekend. Thousands of people have “flood[ed]” Belgrade.

Long lines of Bosnians, Montenegrins and North Macedonians – often entire families – formed in front of the main vaccination center in the Serbian capital, with police keeping watch.

…The Bosnian Klix news portal described huge lines of cars forming on Saturday morning at the border crossings with Serbia.

This lets Serbia promote the speed of vaccinations in their country. They’re behind the U.S. in per capita vaccinations, but have dosed citizens at over twice the rate of European countries like Germany and Spain. It also boosts their regional prestige and influence. And they’re apparently beginning to run into vaccine skepticism that’s limiting further dosing.

In an interesting choice, the country is offering AstraZeneca shots to foreigners, ostensibly because the excess doses Serbia holds are ‘close to expiration’. They’re prioritizing Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm vaccines for their own citizens.

Air Serbia is currently flying New York JFK – Belgrade three times a week. The country allows visitors with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

So visit Serbia for the shot, stay and visit Belgrade Fortress and Saint Petka’s Chapel. Grab a Rakija (fruit brandy) and then stroll Knez Mihailova. Return home protected from severe disease.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s gotten easier to get a vaccine slot here in USA so I would rather just get it here.

  2. If the country of Serbia offered a complimentary hot and fresh Krispy Kreme donut with every immunization jab, who could resist this COVID-19 prophylactic vaccine travel opportunity.

  3. Too late. Anyone with even the slightest bit of resourcefulness can get one in the US.

  4. Getting the first AstraZenica shot overseas would mean hoping US approval comes in time to get your second one back home. Probably a decent option for those in countries where the shot won’t be available any time soon though.

  5. I’ve been in Serbia the past 5 weeks. I was vaccinated 2 weeks ago. On a walk-in basis (in and out in 10 minutes) – first shot of AstraZeneca.

    I’ve planned my travels around the Balkans such that I’ll be back in Serbia in time for my 2nd dose.

  6. “Air Serbia is currently flying New York JFK – Belgrade three times a week. The country allows visitors with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival. So visit Serbia for the shot, stay and visit Belgrade Fortress and Saint Petka’s Chapel. Grab a Rakija (fruit brandy) and then stroll Knez Mihailova. Return home protected from severe disease.”

    You do know that this is a two dose vaccine right? You understand that there are thousands and thousands of people migrating to get these vaccines because they don’t have access in their countries and no prospect of getting them anytime soon right? What kind of tool suggests that americans (who at this point are getting relatively easy access to vaccines or at least appointments for them) should fly to another country and take vaccine slots away from people who have little to NO access to vaccines in the surrounding balkan countries? The vaccine isn’t even approved in the US yet. Let alone you aren’t protected the moment you get the vaccine and you will have to get a negative test to fly back to the US and if staying in NY will still have to quarantine for four days and test out as an international traveler. Not to mention what would happen if the US doesn’t approve this vaccine or how you might not be able to verify vaccination in serbia through some of the vaccine passport systems being developed in the US. Just pretty much a terrible idea on every level and offensive.

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