Vaccine Tourism Will Be A New Trend In Early 2021

Even if there’s an emergency use authorization for a vaccine in the U.S. in December it’s likely late in the second quarter before it’s available for most Americans. Will you wait until June for a vaccine, when you can get one somewhere else in the world if you have the ability to travel and the money to buy one?

The U.A.E. and Bahrain have given emergency use authorizations to the Sinopharm vaccine, which has already been given to hundreds of thousands of people in China. It’s an inactivated virus vaccine, which so far is reported to be safe and effective. It remains in stage 3 trials, but is being out to essential workers and is becoming increasingly available.

Meanwhile the E.U. has a lower effectiveness threshold than the FDA for approving a Covid-19 vaccine, so you might be able to hop across the Pond for the Astrazeneca vaccine before it’s available in the U.S. If you trust E.U. regulators on safety more than those in the U.A.E. you might take that shorter flight.

Tyler Cowen writes,

The regulations on these vaccines will be so new there are certain to be loopholes, so don’t think this is necessarily an illegal or black-market transaction. It is more akin to a grey market. There might be some legal risk, of course, and the higher it is, the higher the price will be to induce some sellers to divert supply.

…The U.S. itself might be on board with such an arrangement. If reasonable vaccines are approved in other countries first, American elites might start a revolt of sorts. Rather than fixing America’s cumbersome vaccine approval and distribution system, the federal government might find it easier to encourage an allied nation or two to offer their product to visiting Americans.

While there are restrictions on who is supposed to get the vaccine in Dubai, we have to bet that it’ll be available beyond the indicated population at some price. Or some developing countries within China’s sphere of influence might both promote tourism and vaccine sales to wealthy Americans. That both gives them hard currency and publicizes a Chinese win. Would you take a trip to Dubai to get a vaccine six months earlier?

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. Brazil is a great destination for breast implants, Panama for teeth implants and some unspecified (censored) country for organ transplants. I can definitely see people flying out to get a vaccine elsewhere.

  2. I already got the vaccine here in the US. Here’s the problem. You can still transmit covid. So how does that let me in to other countries so I can travel? I don’t see anyone rolling out the red carpet even if someome has a EUA US vaccine.

  3. The only way I go anywhere- to Dubai or 12 blocks to my doctor’s office- is if I have expert opinion (Fauci, etc) that the vaccine I’m taking is effective and safe. And I’ve had Covid.

  4. @Robertw

    Yes, I’m in a trial and have developed antibodies so I know I didn’t get the placebo.

    Very mild flu-like symptoms for 24 hours.

    At some point they need to create a database with a QR code or something and countries need to accept it.

  5. Yea, I’m not trusting China to decide whether or not a vaccine is safe. China, the country where infants were dying because of their toxic milk powder and shoddy health rules. No thanks.

  6. Wow. The ignorance is stunning. Especially from fools like Bob Doll. The stats are thus: 9.47 million cases, 235,000 deaths. That’s almost exactly 2.5 % death rate- 12 1/2 times the figure Doll states. Hundreds of thousands more who were in ICU and intubated, suffer debilitating side effects, for months if not permanently.
    I had Covid, a “mild” case. Two months later I still have lingering symptoms. AND, my doctor says my immunity may only last two or three months, and I’ll be at risk again.
    Anyone who takes this disease lightly is a fool. And anyone who tells you the odds are low is either a fool or a liar.

  7. @Bill – you’d be trusting the UAE, or for that matter health authorities in the E.U. since they’re highly likely to approve a vaccine before the FDA does

  8. vaccine maxine blaxine schmaxine, as if it changes anything, Bill Gates and Fraudci have everyone chasing after a panacea,oh it will profit them and big pharma,but it will not prevent you from getting covid and it will not prevent you from spreading covid , are there any sane people left in this world? ,ones who can actually think for themselves and not be told by someone else what to do?

  9. 3 to 4 months of antigens sounds more like the old g.g. shot (gamma globulin for hepatitus), than it does a vaccine (the 2 stage shots for hep they have now). The time line for this example is also exemplary. n parties.

  10. Bill D – I acknowledge that people should be aware of their risks but for many, myself included, I choose to deal with the risk by doing what is right for me and not living in fear. I grew up driving in Boston and was a Red Sox’s fan waaaaayyy before the “good years” so I know fear, pain and suffering…I wish you a speedy recovery but you do YOU and let everyone else make their own choices. I will not be doing a vaccine and have been on planes weekly since July…

  11. @bobdoll
    I care because I own a business. With the mandatory 10 days quarantines, I worry about losing my whole small staff if someone spreads it to the team. So, no, I don’t care about you dying or getting sick but I do care about my money. We’ll get a vaccine as soon as we can and I’d fly to Europe for the oxford Vax if it was available first.

  12. Nov 3, 2020 was an important day not just for Americans but the whole world. And its not because it is the day Americans voted to elect the next President.

    In the days after the election, according to the President and nearly 50% Americans, COVID-19 will magically vanish – a hoax perpetrated by Democrats, China, Bill Gates, Media, Deep state, Doctors, Socialists, Communists, Child molestors, Antifa and off course, Dr Anthony Fauci. What is left unsaid is that people who died of corona virus, will be restored to eternal life if we relect the current leader/messiah. Rejoice my friends. The end is so near.

    What is this vaccine for ?

  13. People like Bill Dwyer decry ignorance about COVID-19 and yet don’t seem to know the difference between a case fatality rate and an infection fatality rate. COVID-19 is nowhere near an existential threat to the population and should not be used to justify the abrogation of citizens’ freedoms. The fearful and trembling among us have always been free to stay at home. I have no intention of being a human guinea pig for any vaccine, but I have no fear of traveling through supposed COVID-19 hotspots in the meantime. Simple precautions are quite effective in preventing infection. I’ve been wearing a mask when traveling since January and have yet to get sick (confirmed with antibody testing) even though I’ve spent time in Singapore, Italy, the northeast US, the UK and Spain. This global freak out really is quite tiresome. Death comes to all of us, sooner on average to the fatties. Don’t want to die of COVID-19? Don’t be fat. And to all the TDS-afflicted out there, Trump didn’t create the virus and he didn’t make Americans fat.

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