“Vaccine tourists” willing to travel for COVID-19 shot - WBAY

“Vaccine tourists” willing to travel for COVID-19 shot - WBAY

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Some people are going to great lengths to get a COVID-19 vaccine–literally. People in health care have coined to term “vaccine tourism.”

Vaccine tourists scout out vaccination clinics and drive for hours if necessary.

“We’ve had people from south of Milwaukee drive up to Green Bay,” says Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea Health President and CEO.

Vaccine tourism is expected to continue as clinics open in smaller communities. Dr. Rai is confident it will not take away shots from people who live in those communities.

“As the weather gets better and it’s a great time to visit Marinette or Mountain or Ladysmith, we might see a little bit more of that,” says Dr. Rai. “But the local residents are actually getting the spots as well.”

Wisconsin does not allow people from other states to get vaccinated here–unless they work here. Think people who travel between Marinette, Wis. and Menominee, Mich.

Dr. Rai is happy to see people eager to get a shot. He cites a campaign from health care providers to provide accurate information to people in rural areas.

“We’ve partnered with local senior centers, different companies,” says Dr. Rai. “Some of the counties that are concerning are really catching up nicely. And I think it’s because those of us who are vaccinators are more and more taking the show on the road to areas where we have clinics in our smaller counties.”

Looking for an appointment near you? CLICK HERE for the First Alert Vaccine Team guide to clinics.

Wondering if you’re eligible? CLICK HERE for a list of people who can get the vaccine in Wisconsin.

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