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Could Travel be the Motivation for People to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine?

Over the past few days, news outlets have been flooded with positive results from the last trial phase for the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford Covid-19 vaccines. Hopefully once everyone is vaccinated, we won´t have to search for Covid testing centers abroad during our vacation. While the world awaits a global distribution of the vaccine, there is a growing sector of the world population which is against obligatory vaccination. In this article, we will discuss (in a non-political manner) if the population´s love for travel could actually be the motivation for people to get vaccinated, even against their desire?

Anti-Vaccination or Anti-Obligation?

In a recent study, 1 out of 4 Americans stated that they would not receive a Covid-19 vaccine once available. The sentiments are similar around the globe, and are not exclusive to the US.

Also, high profiled people such as the #1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, has gone on record saying that he is against compulsory vaccinations for players in order to resume playing tennis.

It turns out that the refusal is not partisan based. The main arguments against compulsory vaccination are either due to the presumed safety of a certain vaccine, or, the violation of human rights obligating someone to inject a substance into their body against their own will.

Governments worldwide have their hands full with this upcoming obstacle – how to vaccinate a large portion of the population which does not want to get a vaccine, without violating their human rights?

While this article is not meant to raise a discussion regarding the effectiveness and necessity of a Covid-19 vaccine, we do want to discuss the repercussions of a vaccine regarding the travel industry.

Borders opened only to vaccinated travelers?

At the moment, many of the countries which have opened their borders to tourists require a negative PCR test upon entrance. Some countries are also requiring a multiple day quarantine, but it seems that this is a measure to purposely discourage travelers from visiting (and successfully doing so). A negative PCR test is currently a country´s best protection against importing foreign cases of Covid-19 within it´s territory.

But if we fast-forward a few months to when a vaccine is globally available, could countries start requiring a vaccination in order to enter the country´s territory? Personally, I think this is what will happen.

This is already common practice in some countries. For example, certain countries in Latin America require proof of a Yellow Fever vaccine prior to entry. Since Yellow Fever has not impacted our society in so many years, yet countries still require proof of vaccination, it´s safe to say that countries will request proof of a Covid-19 vaccine prior to entry for the next few years at least.

Travel and events as a way to motivate vaccination

While governments have their work cut out for them regarding this topic, I feel that the key to a wide spread vaccination will actually be dependent on travel and social events. If countries make it mandatory to enter their territory only with a proof of vaccination, or social events such as sports and concerts also require a vaccine prior to entering their premises, even those who do not wish to get vaccinated could find themselves doing so in order to pursue their passion for travel and social events.


While we must respect humans’ rights to decide upon if and what will be injected into their bodies, it could very well be that the passion for travel will play an important part in motivating millions of travel lovers around the world to receive a vaccine. Needless to say, this is excellent news for the travel industry

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