GVB’s good news: Vaccinations in Guam’s top tourism market ramping up

Guam Visitors Bureau (PNC graphic by Ricky De Guzman)

The Guam Visitors Bureau on Thursday shared the good news that the prospect of more visitors from Japan has improved as the country’s vaccination rate has ramped up.

GVB vice president Gerry Perez said that at the end of May, only 3 percent of Japan’s population was vaccinated. But as of Aug. 25, 42 percent were already vaccinated.

“So you can see that Japan is very rapidly wrapping up vaccinations which is good news for Guam. The expectation is that Japan will have at least 70 to 80 percent vaccination by October. So that’s good news for us,” Perez said during GVB’s board meeting on Thursday.

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Another piece of good news that Perez shared is that Japan is now issuing vaccination certificates for travel use.

Perez said that is also good news for Guam because it shows that the Japanese are at least open to traveling again.

He said the Japanese vaccination certificates are very secure because they are issued only by the municipality where the holders of the vaccination certificate are residing.

The Japanese vaccination certificate contains not only an individual’s personal information but also the passport number and the date and type of vaccine. It’s also in both Japanese and English.

Perez said the Japanese vaccination certificate is very hard to replicate and is approved documentation for international travel to more than 50 countries and destinations.

“And in the US, only Guam and the CNMI are approved. Even Hawaii is not approved because Hawaii is still having some major issues pertaining to the virus. So it looks like we’ve started to see some glimmer of opportunity for us in Japan,” Perez said.

In Taiwan, Perez said the Taiwanese government has started to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine made in Taiwan.

But Perez said their sources are saying that most Taiwanese still prefer getting the U.S.-made vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

These FDA-approved vaccines are all offered by GVB’s “Air V&V” program.