Mexico City. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans crossed the border with the United States in recent months to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and, incidentally, make purchases, in a trend that several cities in that country are beginning to promote in order to reactivate their economies. It is a phenomenon baptized as vaccine tourism.
“So far this year, at least 400 thousand Mexicans have gone to the United States to apply the vaccine against the virus. If the borders are not fully opened, 1.2 million people will do it, but if they are opened for the month of October, the figure could triple, “said Armando Bojórquez, president of the Cultural Association, in an interview. and Tourism of Latin America (Current).
This trip involves various expenses: roundtrip airline tickets (required in states with the laxest measures to apply the antidote), a PCR test, car rental and lodging.
Information collected by The Day indicates that, on average, the cost for plane tickets is around 17 thousand pesos, for one night’s accommodation –depends on the state– goes from 4 thousand to 9 thousand pesos and the rental of a car 800 pesos a day.
With the sum of these concepts plus the PCR test and food expenses, the trip to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the United States costs 30 thousand pesos per person on average.
“This expense considers that people go and receive the single-dose vaccine, but in the case of two doses, the expense doubles. There are also people who make the decision to stay in the United States until the second application is completed, and that implies higher expenses, ”said Bojórquez.
The United States, one of the countries that has produced a greater quantity of vaccines against Covid-19, experiences in some states a problem of demand and not of supply, which is why a mass vaccination policy has been implemented in several entities to non-residents and that also seeks to promote tourism, one of the economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic on a global scale.
In 17 states, the only requirements to receive a vaccine are to be over 16 years old and have an official identification, which can be a passport. They are: Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida and New York.
To receive the antidote, it is necessary to make an appointment on the official site of the health department of each state, which is obtained online, and in this way people can go to any vaccination center, which in the United States can even be a Walmart store or a pharmacy.
Before receiving the vaccine, the authorities recommend reading which are the elements that each one contains and thus being able to choose the best option. The three authorized in that country are that of the Pfizer and Moderna laboratories, which are of two doses and Johnson & Johnson, which is of only one.
Work, pleasure and health
Paulina Cevallos lives in Mexico City and is 27 years old. His parents have already been vaccinated in Mexico and he has relatives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I asked my uncles to make my appointment and I got vaccinated five days ago. It was a single dose and I did it so as not to wait here and I took the opportunity to stay for a couple of days, “he told this media.
Ramiro Fuentes had to travel to California for work reasons, he is 26 years old and is originally from the state of Mexico. You received the vaccine last week.
“I took advantage of the trip, I took my test and it came back negative, I was able to travel, I registered on the vaccination page and I chose Pfizer. In a couple of weeks I will return, on my own, to receive the second dose and I will stay three more days, “he said.
In this sense, Armando Bojórquez explained that the decision of the United States government to implement these actions implies a greater economic benefit in the entities that apply the vaccine.
“Not only Mexicans go, we estimate that 90 percent of Mexican residents in the United States have already received the vaccine. Tourists from Latin America and Europe also go, the same will happen in Russia, and that will translate into benefits for hotels, airlines and all companies in those countries, “he said.