Private, Paid-For COVID-19 Vaccination: The Embodiment of Freedom of Choice
The financial hit the global economy is taking courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic is catastrophic. There is a wait for vaccines and a delay in the roll-out. Both of which means the situation will not resolve itself any time soon.
In some countries, vaccination programs are up and running. The implementation may be slow, but governments are contemplating the post-COVID-19 landscape for the first time in over a year.
What the new norm will look like when it comes to freedom of movement, international tourism, and subsequent economic recovery remains up for speculation. What's more, this picture varies from country to country.
The Need for a Two-Tier System
The first wave of vaccinations is understandably being allocated to society's most vulnerable groups. Some call for a system, though, that allows citizens to bypass the state-run vaccination process. The alternative is that there should be the option to jump the queue and pay privately for a COVID-19 vaccine.
This idea raises the question of whether a paid-for vaccination is ethical. While most governments worldwide assume responsibility for the free distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, private healthcare is nothing new, though. After all, it's been an option for those who can afford it since the 1920s.
It stands to reason that if people are in a financial position to arrange a paid-for vaccination vacation, the option should be available. It's argued that this will re-instate the freedom of movement for the privately inoculated. Also, protecting family, friends, co-workers, and others is responsible and can provide a much-needed kick to the economy. And this is something that will benefit everyone.
Those in the business community may consider private immunization a viable business expense, particularly when trading overseas. Some countries, including Thailand, Austria, and New Zealand, have strict quarantine requirements, and a vaccination certificate may, in time, result in a more lenient immigration approach.
The ability to travel freely overseas for business can provide a competitive edge and help worldwide economies take the first step on the long-awaited road to recovery.
The dire need to get business moving again is behind Sweden's push towards producing a biometric vaccine passport. With over 16 percent of the country's population needing to travel abroad for business, the country considers it a priority.
The beleaguered airline industry is already accepting electronic travel passes for verified inoculated passengers. The Verifly app is in use by
Alaska and American Airlines. United has developed a version, and the Air Transport Association is producing a similar offering that Emirates and Etihad Airways will soon trial.
Corona Vaccine for Tourists
Unfortunately, most countries have not made private COVID-19 vaccination available; they do exist, though. Vaccination vacations, whereby people travel to countries offering paid-for vaccination schemes, are available.
These programs see vaccine vacationers receive one vaccination on arrival at a private, registered medical facility in their chosen destination. The second immunization takes place a few weeks later, at the end of their stay. The necessary legal inoculation documentation is then issued.
When it comes to free COVID-19 vaccination, most countries wish to be viewed as all-inclusive towards their citizens. However, there is also an ethical argument supporting paid-for vaccinations.
You could argue that those in a position to take advantage of paid-for vaccination schemes have a moral obligation to do so. They are not depriving anyone else of their vaccination or adding to the overstretched workload of emergency workers at state-organized vaccination facilities.
One thing is sure. There is an urgent need to get the world moving again. And the more vaccinated citizens, the faster this process will be. Vacation vaccinations-for-pay can provide the means for this to happen.