City sees an increase in vaccine tourism

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 12:36 PM CST
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - At the start of the pandemic, U.S. officials closed the border to non-essential travelers in March of 2020; however, city officials believe a new form of tourism has developed.

According to the staff at the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau, vaccine sites located at the Outlet Shoppes, Mall Del Norte and even some local pharmacies are encouraging more Mexican tourists to visit Laredo to get a vaccine.

Even though non-essential travelers 18 years and older must show proof that they are fully vaccinated to cross, they can still visit Laredo to receive their booster shot or to vaccinate family members 17 years and younger.

Because vaccines are so hard to come by in Mexico, this new form of tourism is being dubbed vaccine tourism.

Ana Reyna Aarzate with the Convention and visitors Bureau says they have seen a lot of people coming from Mexico to get the vaccine, the booster and also for children.

City officials say with state and federal officials including the National Guard and medical professionals assisting with the pandemic, Laredo hotels have seen a 90 percent capacity.

Airport officials also say they are seeing an increase in travelers coming from Mexico City looking for healthcare.

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