Don’t let your vaccine vacation turn into a nightmare - tread with caution
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While it may seem exciting to travel to another country to receive a vaccine, travel experts warn that there are risks involved. They advise that travellers tread with caution as the Covid-19 situation is ever-changing.
Lizeka Shandu, the owner of African Wild Travel, told IOL Travel that travellers should weigh the pros and cons of taking a vaccine vacation.
She said that while travellers may test negative for Covid-19, they may contract the virus during their travels.
“Many people are tired of being stuck at home and having the vaccine makes travel more accessible. However, they need to be mindful of the risks that come with travelling during the pandemic.
“In some cases, the vaccine isn’t guaranteed for travellers, which is why research is critical when embarking on this type of trip. Find out about the procedure, how long you will need to stay at the destination and how much it will cost you.
“We are still in a pandemic and need to be mindful of that when we make travel decisions. Do not be negligent with your life,” she said.
Jennifer Morris, the owner of Travel Savvy, said vaccine vacations were “another example of how strange the travel landscape is at the moment”.
Morris said travellers need to determine the legitimacy of the vaccine and whether it came with a vaccine certificate from a reputable source.
She said travellers should beware of fraudulent offers.
“Be mindful of taking a vaccine dose intended for the local population. I think that there are ethical considerations to be taken into account. For example, countries monetising the vaccine through tourism might make it harder for local people to get their vaccines and lead to social problems,” she said.
Africa lags behind
While many travellers are escaping to other destinations for their vaccine, the roll-out in Africa is slow.
According to The Africa Travel Recovery, Opportunity & Risks Research Brief by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, for travel to recover in Africa, speedy vaccination roll-outs were critical.
The report, written exclusively for Africa Travel Week, found that most countries on the continent lagged behind many "advanced economies". It found that "countries that manage to quickly vaccinate their populations will be in a better position to lift restrictions and stimulate tourism growth".