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‘Like a dream’: Latin Americans head to United States for COVID-19 vaccines

Frustrated with the lagging pace of vaccinations at home, well-off Latin Americans have been flying north for a shot — and feeling guilty about those left behind.

May 30, 2021 / 08:34 AM IST
People are prepared to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US on May 18, 2021 (Representative image: Reuters/Hannah Beier)

People are prepared to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US on May 18, 2021 (Representative image: Reuters/Hannah Beier)

Florencia Gonzalez Alzaga, a photographer from Buenos Aires, hatched her plan to fly to the United States for a coronavirus vaccine after the subject came up in her Zoom book club.

Juan Pablo Bojacá, an Instagram influencer from Colombia who specializes in frugal travel, urged his 137,000 followers to give it a try, posting a step-by-step video guide that showed him clearing passport control in Miami.

José Acevedo, a real estate agent in Paraguay, was stunned by how easy the whole thing was in Las Vegas.

Frustrated with the lagging pace of vaccine campaigns at home and seeing a surplus of doses in the United States — where tens of millions of Americans have opted not to get inoculated — wealthy and middle-class Latin Americans with American tourist visas have been flocking to the United States in recent weeks to score a COVID-19 shot.