City leaders discuss possible vaccine tourism from Mexico

New York City is already offering tourists vaccines and now the City of Laredo is exploring that option, too.
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 1:14 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Vaccine tourism is a new trend in the United States.

Lately, droves of international travelers mostly from Mexico have been coming into the country to visit and get a shot.

New York City is already offering tourists vaccines and now the City of Laredo is exploring that option, too.

During a trip to Mexico City, Laredo officials met with the CEO of Aeromar and learned that flights from there into Laredo have been on the rise, in large part due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As you know, there’s no requirement for citizenship so they do get vaccinated, and if that’s the case then basically I and others throughout the border basically are saying, well, let’s make it legal, let’s promote it, can we promote it?” said Mayor Pete Saenz.

According to Mayor Saenz, they’ve already reached out to the governor’s office along with their Washington representatives to see if it can be allowed.

He’s also contacted mayors along the border from El Paso to Brownsville and they’re all for it.

“The border, you know, has been heavily hit by the pandemic economically speaking and this would be a tremendous tool to incentives the Mexican tourists. In particular, once the bridges are open to come in, spend some time in Laredo, good for the economy but even more so for the public health.”

The mayor adds that the Laredo health authority is on board with this idea and that the health director said vaccines are in surplus.

With higher traffic at the airport, the potential for adding another direct flight with Aeromar was discussed.

“As we currently analyze the data, I think we would potentially be looking at the summer or the fall to see if there is a potential announcement,” said Jeffrey Miller. “As of right now though, we’re sticking with our regular structure, but the flights are full. That’s not just Aeromar but we’re also seeing that on our domestic partners too on american, United and Allegiant.”>

Additionally, the city met with the Instituto National de Migración about adding a pre clearance procedure to the Laredo International Airport.

It doesn’t stop there -- the City of Laredo also met with their sister city San Mateo Atenco to discuss opening artisan shops here.

Lastly, the fire department’s Deputy Chief of EMS was on the trip as well to assess and train the fire department in Mexico City.

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