Vaccine tourists heading to Florida hoping to score vaccinations

Coronavirus Vaccine

MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — There is no residency requirement in Florida to get the vaccine.

And there are reports of people from other states — and even other countries — traveling to Florida to get the vaccine in what is known as “vaccine tourism.”

“I do know of other people from Toronto and Montreal hiring private planes, pre-setting their appointments for the vaccine, being picked up by car and driven directly for the vaccination,” Alana Markus said.

Markus lives in Broward County, Florida and has been trying to get the vaccine for weeks.

She is originally from Canada, but is a U.S. citizen and now lives full-time in Florida.

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While she has not been able to get the vaccine, her sister — who is not an American citizen, but has a condo in Florida, was able to get the vaccine.

“I was very happy for her. But on the other hand, in a way, I was shocked. Here I am sitting on the phone and on the computer every day trying to get an appointment and couldn’t get it. And here they were in their retirement community, which I won’t mention the name, getting the shot,” Markus said.

It’s not just Canadians flying into Florida for the vaccine.

According to the Miami Herald, foreigners are coming from Argentina and Brazil, too.

Florida Emergency Management director Jared Moskowitz said snowbirds, people who live up North but have a residence in Florida, are encouraged to get the shot. But not people from other countries only flying in for the vaccine.

“Vaccine tourism is not permitted. It is abhorrent. People should not be flying here for the vaccine and then flying out,” Moskowitz said.

Markus is hoping to get the vaccine within the next several weeks if she can finally get an appointment.

“Being an American citizen and living in the state of Florida, I don’t think it is fair. We are the taxpayers here. We should be getting them well before any other country or any other state,” Markus said.

There are also reports of people from Alabama and Georgia driving into Florida to get vaccines.

The state still requires people be over the age of 65 to get the vaccine.

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