BANGKOK, May 5 (Reuters) – Travel agencies in Thailand are selling coronavirus “vaccine tours” to the United States, as some wealthy Thais grow impatient while waiting for mass vaccinations that are still a month away. amid the country’s largest outbreak to date.
The tours reflect global differences in immunization, with the United States and Britain making rapid gains in immunization, but many low-income countries – and increasingly their affluent citizens – are still striving to secure the doses.
Bangkok tour operator Unithai Trip offers packages from 75,000 baht to 200,000 baht ($ 2,400 to $ 6,400) for trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, with prices depending on the range of time between doses.
“Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) is a jab, but 90% of respondents want Pfizer (PFE.N),” which takes about 20 days between the first and second dose, the owner of the drugstore told Reuters. agency, Rachphol Yamsaeng.
He said a group was tentatively scheduled to leave next week.
My Journey Travel is offering a 10-day trip to San Francisco for a photo of Johnson & Johnson and said it received hundreds of calls in three days.
Vaccination tours could be a boon for Thai tourism agencies after travel collapses during the pandemic.
“All travel agencies are suffering now,” said Rachapol, whose agency also offers similar trips to Serbia. “Whatever we can do, we have to try to do it. “
A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok declined to comment immediately, but the U.S. State Department’s website lists medical tourism as a valid reason to visit.
The United States is not the only destination available to Thais. Another agency, Udachi, announced a 23-day “vacancy in Russia” to receive the Sputnik V vaccine up to 210,000 baht ($ 6,700).
Thailand’s main vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin in June with locally produced AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccines.
His latest outbreak accounted for more than half of his 74,900 infections and 318 total deaths.
Thailand’s Tourism Ministry warned on Wednesday that customers should carefully review vaccination packages after the Foreign Ministry said U.S. regulations may vary from state to state.
Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat Editing by Ed Davies
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.