In Search of a Vaccine, Some Tourists Find Luck in the Caribbean

The boom is linked to the fact that since March 1, all 16 are eligible to receive the vaccine in the Virgin Islands – so tourists don’t have to worry about getting bitten in line. The area accommodates around 100 walk-ins each day. Brian said on Monday, “Anywhere in America you can actually just walk and get a vaccine, anyone over 16”. On March 1, the islands also opened two federally supported community immunization centers on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

American travelers face less red tape when visiting the American Virgin Islands than other Caribbean destinations. If they Presented A negative coronavirus test within five days of leaving for the field, or a positive antibody test taken within four months, does not require them to quarantine upon arrival. To passengers Jamaica And Barbados, On the contrary, no matter what is said to quarantine. And American travelers cannot travel to the Cayman Islands unless they conform to the strict eligibility criteria.

Dr. Hunte-Caesar said that, at this point, the Department of Health did not consider vaccine tourism a problem. “We definitely want to ensure local residents get vaccinated,” she said. But “we have no shortage to serve both populations.” The Virgin Islands currently have 27,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 18,900 doses of the modern vaccine, and 600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, said Department of Immunity Director, Manif Stout.

Noreen Michael, a scientist at the University of Virgin Island who studies health disparities, agreed that it is important to ensure that vaccines are available to residents who want them, but said they should There is no evidence to see that tourists are taking the vaccines away. Residents who want them. “On the public health side, it’s a plus,” she said. “On the equity side, I don’t see it as a significant issue.”

Perhaps, too, vaccine tourism can be used as a force for good – to secure supplements for marginalized groups in other regions. Although the Virgin Islands offer free Kovid-19 vaccines, the islands can charge tourists for their vaccines, and funds can be used to send vaccines to areas that need them, an international health economist at the University of Miami Felicia Kannul said. “Can we send those vaccines to Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic or Haiti?” He asked. “Once you find the key welfare and human rights aspects, if you can use that money to pay for people who don’t have access right now, I think it’s worth thinking about.” . “

For now, health officials are focused on ways to reduce vaccine inhibition in the region. Dr. “People access misinformation and eliminate lies and things that are harmful,” Hunte-Saffron said at a news conference last week. As a result, the islands are facing an increase in cases and hospitals that said they give “chest pains and heartburn” every night. Although the vaccine’s hesitation appears to be decreasing, residents will have to begin widespread vaccination if the islands are to meet their goal of vaccinating 50,000 Virgin Islanders by 1 July.

Meanwhile, visitors from the continental US will continue to take advantage of the additional supplements. Some have stayed longer than planned, and – even considered visiting the islands for good.

“I started falling in love with the culture of St. Crix,” said Hemal Trivedi, a documentary filmmaker living in Wewken, N.J., and was vaccinated in St. Crix in February. “Towards the end of the trip, we were really looking to buy a place.”

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