Governor cautiously supportive of GVB’s ‘vaccine tourism’ plan

(PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Thursday expressed cautious support for the Guam Visitors Bureau’s plan to adopt “vaccine tourism” for American expatriates.

Under the GVB plan, Guam will be marketed as a “vaccination destination” for American expatriates living and working in the Asia-Pacific because Guam is one of only a few places in the region with enough FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

“It’s something that is worth looking into more seriously,” Leon Guerrero said during a news conference announcing the delay in Guam’s reopening.

The governor added that she will be making a call to Army General Gustave Perna, the chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, to see if he can give Guam additional vaccine supplies.

According to GVB, the bureau has been receiving inquiries from American expatriates in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and other countries in the region about the possibility of traveling to Guam to get vaccinated.

With Guam considered as “America in Asia,” Guam is one of the few places in the region that offers vaccines that are offered in the American market such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Because of this, a number of American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) in the region like the ones in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea have been contacting GVB to discuss the possible vaccination of their members on Guam.

Ideally, GVB is hoping that American expatriates and their families can combine a vacation stay on Guam along with their vaccinations.

Although supportive of the GVB plan, the governor also expressed concern about possibly impacting the vaccine supply for Guam’s people.

“But if we can get extra supplies or added supplies to our volume of vaccination, I think that would be a great idea to pursue,” the governor said.

GVB has emphasized that the people of Guam are still the top priority when it comes to vaccine use and no local resident will be left out of vaccination under its proposed “vaccine tourism” program.