• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Vaccine tourism? ‘It’s not the solution,’ PAHO says

May 12, 2021

Giovanni Torres and his wife Angela flew from Bogotá to New York. Their goal: to get vaccinated against Covid-19, just like the tourists from Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Venezuela who were interviewed by AFP waiting for their dose on the beach in Miami.

Costa Rican travel agencies reportedly expect 10,000 Ticos to visit the United States in order to get their shots.

But for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), traveling to other countries to be vaccinated does not solve the Covid-19 crisis; it only proves the inequity in access to doses on the continent.

“We do not have the data to confirm how many Latin Americans are traveling to the United States to access vaccines,” Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Wednesday.

But she was emphatic on the subject: “Let me say that vaccine tourism is not the solution, but rather a symptom of the inequality in the distribution of vaccines in the Americas.”

In the American continent, home to more than 1 billion people, 384 million have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, of which more than 258 million are in the United States, according to the PAHO.

At a press conference, Etienne considered “unacceptable” that those who cannot pay for international travel, that is, “the vast majority of people in our region,” cannot be immunized.

“Vaccines can make the difference between life and death and should not be a privilege of rich countries or wealthy people, but a right of everyone,” she said.

“Ultimately, vaccine tourism exacerbates inequality,” she stressed.

To counter this, she said, PAHO works with the global Covax mechanism — promoted by WHO to ensure equitable access to vaccines — and with suppliers to expedite deliveries. It also encourages donations and regional manufacturing.

“Given the epidemiological burden in our region and the high mortality of Covid in many countries, Latin America and the Caribbean should be a priority for immunizations to help save lives and prevent future outbreaks,” she said.

You may be interested

50% off Southwest Airlines flights to Costa Rica
Costa Rica
225 views
Costa Rica
225 views

50% off Southwest Airlines flights to Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 15, 2021

Southwest Airlines has launched a 50% off sale for its 50th anniversary, and the promotion includes flights to Costa Rica.…

‘Indignation, anger and fury’ in response to Costa Rica corruption probe
Costa Rica
21 views
Costa Rica
21 views

‘Indignation, anger and fury’ in response to Costa Rica corruption probe

AFP and The Tico Times - June 15, 2021

Costa Rican investigators on Monday carried out 57 raids, including on the building housing the country's top executive offices, in…

Nicaragua defends arrests of opposition ‘usurpers’
News
3 views
News
3 views

Nicaragua defends arrests of opposition ‘usurpers’

AFP - June 15, 2021

Nicaragua's government on Monday defended the arrests of 13 opposition figures, including four presidential hopefuls, claiming they are "usurpers" funded…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports