Interest in Guam’s vaccine tourism picking up

Tourists at the Guam airport. (PNC file photo)

Interest in Guam’s innovative vaccine tourism is picking up in various countries in the region.

Guam Visitors Bureau President Carl Gutierrez said Japanese, Korean, Philippine, and Thailand media have been picking up the news about Guam’s vaccine tourism.

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“They’re very interested,” Gutierrez said during GVB’s board meeting Thursday.

He said a person from the Philippines already traveled to Guam to go on “Air V&V” (vaccination and vacation) and another one came from Thailand.

He added that the Thailand government is trying to compete with Guam and asking the U.S. government for thousands of USDA-approved vaccines in order to vaccinate the thousands of American expatriates in Thailand.

Under GVB’s vaccine tourism 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.

The plan was initially limited to U.S. citizens because the vaccines that the government of Guam is currently dispensing come from the federal government and their use is limited to U.S. citizens.

However, Gutierrez informed the Guam Tourism Reopening Committee that some FDA-approved vaccine manufacturers are now selling its COVID-19 vaccines to the private sector and they’ve reached out to Guam already.

Having the vaccines in the private sector would no longer limit vaccinations to U.S. citizens and non-US citizen tourists can come to Guam and pay private clinics for vaccination or buy vaccines from pharmacies.