The US is leading the world in the vaccination drive to control the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the leading country in the world for producing and distributing the maximum number of vaccines to its adult population. With this, the US has become the number one choice for many outside the country who desperately want to get these vaccines. This has led to a new term, known as, “Vaccine Tourism”.
Everyone is familiar with Medical Tourism, it is when Americans travel to countries with cheaper healthcare to receive medical procedures like dental work, IVF, breast implants, etc. Vaccine tourism is quite the opposite, it is when non-Americans are traveling to the US on Visitor Visas to get vaccinated.
Similar to other countries, the US is prioritizing vaccine distribution to elderly citizens and frontline workers. However, vaccine tourism is driving many noncitizens to cross countries or state lines to jump the line and receive the vaccination.
Is This Vaccine Tourism Legal in the US?
This is often the first thing that comes to mind- Is this legal for noncitizens to visit the US or cross state lines to get the vaccine? The correct answer is there are no US guidelines preventing vaccine tourism. However, there is also no guideline ensuring that noncitizens will get the vaccine.
You may go to the US for the vaccine and you might not get the vaccine. While countries like the UK have a proper protocol in place to prevent vaccine tourism which includes getting your vaccine from the doctor and confirming all personal details including your address and nationality, things are loosely monitored in the US. Every state has its guidelines for vaccine distribution and vaccine tourism is happening all over the country.