New York plans to offer vaccinations for tourists in Times Square

·2 min read
Times Square: Destination vaccination (Getty Images)
Times Square: Destination vaccination (Getty Images)

New York is aiming to lure tourists with the promise of coronavirus vaccinations in Times Square.

The scheme would see vaccination vans set up at popular tourist attractions, according to NYC mayor Bill de Blasio.

He said it would send “a positive message to tourists: ‘Come here. It’s safe, it’s a great place to be and we’re going to take care of you,’” reports Associated Press.

“It’s a show of goodwill. It’s a welcome,” he added.

As well as Times Square, other potential locations for the vaccination vans would include Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the High Line.

Tourists needn’t worry about when they’d receive their second jab either, as they would be given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose.

New York City still needs to get state approval for the initiative before it can go ahead,v something that’s hoped can be obtained over the next few days.

The state health department said it has yet to receive an official plan from the city.

“Meanwhile, we remain focused on vaccine equity and ensuring vaccine access for vulnerable New Yorkers and continue to assess the most effective use of doses as demand stabilises,” said a health department spokesperson.

The trend of “vaccications”, whereby tourists go on holiday to get inoculated against Covid-19, looks to be on the up.

The Maldives plans to offer tourists the opportunity to get vaccinated on arrival as part of its drive to attract holidaymakers.

The archipelago’s tourism minister announced the move would kickstart a new “3V” initiative inviting travellers to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation”.

Alaska will also offer free jabs to visitors this summer, in an effort to boost tourism to the state.

Alaskan governor Mike Dunleavy said it was part of a suite of measures to rescue businesses in the US state’s pandemic-battered tourism industry.

And travel agents are even starting to offer packages that specifically include vaccination for holidaymakers.

Tour operator Unithai Trip is selling “vaccine tours” for Thai tourists who are eager to get the jab before the official rollout in Thailand in June, reports Reuters.

Tours stop in San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York and cost from 75,000 to 200,000 baht (£1,730 to £4,600).

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