9

According to a recent FT article:

Doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford could be available for purchase in India as soon as March, according to one manufacturer, in the first sign that the sought-after jab will make its way on to the private market.
Once the job is approved for use, Serum will initially supply the Indian government but then expects to sell 20m-30m doses to private facilities, according to Adar Poonawalla, chief executive.

But that's going to be in March at the earliest. Are there locations where one can travel to receive the vaccine even sooner? The requirements are:

  1. The country in question must be open to tourism or at least medical tourism
  2. Any tourist should be able to obtain the COVID vaccine or at least any tourist over a certain age
  3. Its okay if the vaccine is still in the trial phase, as long as tourists are accepted into the trial
  4. Its okay if you have to pay to get the shot

NB: I am aware that traveling can be a risky activity during the pandemic, but for some people the chance to get vaccinated sooner could make the trip worth it. As an example, you might be a doctor or a nurse in a country which won't receive the vaccine for a long time.

20
  • 8
    Are you above 65 years old? an obese person? have an autoimmune disease? Dec 12 '20 at 2:58
  • 8
    As number of vaccine shots are currently scarce I don't think there's any country which would give them to tourists.
    – Simon
    Dec 12 '20 at 6:43
  • 9
    I think you should add “the tourist should be able to book a vaccination prior to travel” to your list of requirements, to avoid the risk of finding out on arrival that there are no supplies/vaccination appointments
    – Traveller
    Dec 12 '20 at 7:16
  • 14
    This situation is changing so fast it does not make sense to ask about it. Answers will be out of date too quickly to help. Dec 12 '20 at 14:58
  • 9
    Why so many downvotes? That's an interesting question about medical tourism. Dec 12 '20 at 21:52
4

It seems possible to obtain the vaccine in the US state of Florida as a tourist:

From https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-vaccine-snowbirds-florida-covid-19-1.5863640

Unlike many other U.S. states and Canadian provinces, Florida is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors aged 65 and older during the first phase of its vaccine rollout.

On top of that, the state is allowing non-residents — including Canadian snowbirds — to get the shot.

"Anyone that can prove they are 65 years of age and older is eligible to receive a vaccine at no cost in Florida," the Florida Department of Health said in an email to CBC News.

3
  • Looks like you can do this in pretty much every US state now. An elderly relative of mine got vaccinated on a tourist visa. Accepting this answer as Abu Dhabi's rules are a bit unclear, but I have first-hand evidence of tourist vaccinations in the US.
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 1 at 5:16
  • 2
    This is no longer the case: Florida now requires proof of residency. sarasota.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2021/01/residency.html Feb 17 at 2:46
  • 1
    @lambshaanxy no proof of residency required in many other states. I.e. Washington where I live definitely doesn't require it. I can get an appointment for a 65+ year old in Seattle within 3 weeks or so, so a tourist could definitely come get their shot. But I agree - answer should be updated.
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 17 at 22:26
13

Where can I travel to receive a COVID vaccine as a tourist?

As far as I know, currently no country fit your 4 requirements to receive a COVID vaccine as a tourist, and no plan has been scheduled yet to do so. (mostly because governments tend to first focus on their residents, and getting enough vaccines for them is currently still a struggle + not that many countries are open to any tourist).

Regarding clinical trials, this keeps changing; you can track them on https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=COVID-19 and you most likely don't want to be in a phase 0 or 1.

8
  • 3
    But phase 3 is the "worst". You do not know if you get a real vaccine or just a vaccine for an different disease. Doctors should also not know it. This is very important to get trusted results. Dec 12 '20 at 15:53
  • 3
    @JonathanReez They can get a fever if they get a vaccine for some other disease.
    – Vladimir F
    Dec 12 '20 at 23:39
  • 1
    @GiacomoCatenazzi in phases 0 or 1 you are unlikely to receive the proper doses. Higher chance in phase 3. Dec 13 '20 at 7:28
  • 1
    @JonathanReez: if patient knows they get the real vaccine (phase 3), it means that the results of studies are meaningless. Phase 3 requires to have two similar groups. By knowing who received the vaccine, it changes the behaviour, and so the comparison is meaningless, and so the whole study. Researcher are hopefully smarter. BTW phase 3 requires also some follow up (so unlike to recruit tourists, it will just add costs and not results). And by CDC is deciding not to let participant to study to know if they were vaccinated for additional months (to get more useful data).c Dec 13 '20 at 15:10
  • 2
    @JonathanReez People can have a "nocebo" reaction to the placebo, more likely the more they expect to have side effects from the real thing. Dec 13 '20 at 19:51
12

According to reddit, this is possible in Abu Dhabi right now with the Sinopharm vaccine.

Sinopharm (Beijing) vaccine is now available for free in these locations

I have just taken a shot, it is open 7 days a week. Expats as well. Also heard in radio, even with those with visit visa can take. Took me only 30 mins in total.

Abu Dhabi:

  1. Al Wathba South Majlis
  2. Majlis Mohamed Khalaf
  3. Majlis of first astronomer (رائد فضاء)

Al Ain:

  1. Majlis Al Sarooj
  2. Majlis Al Roudha
  3. Maljlis Al Markhaniya.

Notes:

  1. Two shots total, 2nd shot is after 21 days
  2. Travelling freely back to Abu dhabi border from other emirates is possible only after 28 days from 2nd shot, once Al Hosn app shows Green status.
  3. Aged below 12 and above 70 cannot take vaccine.
  4. Preganant and Breast feeding mothers cannot take vaccine.
  5. Emirates ID required for residents.
  6. Timings typically between 9.30 am to 4 pm

from https://www.reddit.com/r/abudhabi/comments/kb0h17/sinopharm_beijing_vaccine_is_now_available_for/

8
  • 5
    but can a tourist enter Abu Dhabi? Dec 13 '20 at 15:07
  • 4
    Good question... From emirates.com/de/english/help/covid-19/dubai-travel-requirements/… it seems like tourists can fly to Dubai and after a negative PCR test travel by road to Abu Dhabi, but I am not an expert at all. :) Dec 13 '20 at 16:02
  • 3
    Curious that the vaccine is available only to people below 70. Other countries like the UK have made the opposite choice to start vaccinating the elderly, instead. (I'm not claiming one strategy is better than the other though.) Dec 13 '20 at 20:30
  • 6
    @FedericoPoloni probably hasn’t passed safety / efficacy checks for that age group yet.
    – Tim
    Dec 13 '20 at 21:34
  • 1
    As an aside, is safety/efficacy data (presumably from phase III trials) publicly available for this vaccine?
    – dbkk
    Dec 14 '20 at 13:42
6

There are travel packages reportedly sold to go to Russia to get th Sputnik V vaccine:

https://www.outlookindia.com/outlooktraveller/travelnews/story/70923/tourist-packages-to-ukus-and-russia-to-get-vaccinated

Hovewer, similar thing appeared earlier in Czechia and was labeled as fraud so better to be careful.

https://www.world-today-news.com/sputnik-trip-a-prague-businessman-offers-a-trip-to-russia-for-vaccinations/

-->

https://www.rbth.com/business/332938-czech-vaccine-tours-branded-as-fraud-by-russian-health-ministry

2
  • seems only available to Indian residents? Dec 12 '20 at 23:38
  • 2
    @FranckDernoncourt Quite possibly, I put it here as general information. Even though the title of the question is about you personally, the information here should be general.
    – Vladimir F
    Dec 12 '20 at 23:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.