With San Francisco International Airport (SFO) exceeding 30,000 vaccination doses at the airport in August, a clear trend is emerging: More and more foreign travelers are making vaccinations part of their stay in San Francisco.
This concept, known as “vaccine tourism,” represents the fastest growing category of visitors to the SFO Medical Clinic, where Johnson & Johnson’s free, single-dose vaccine is administered. Currently, 80% of new vaccine appointments at SFO come from non-US citizens, and visitors from 58 countries around the world have received over 1,000 doses.
“This trend is really a win-win for everyone,” said airport director Ivar C. Satero. “It ensures vaccine doses are not wasted by making them available to those who may have difficulty accessing them in their home country. It also stimulates travel and visitor spending for the Bay Area and, most importantly, it helps protect against the virus spreading across the community. My thanks go to the entire team for making this program a reality. “
Since the end of May, the SFO Medical Clinic, located in front of the security check in the International Terminal, has been offering free single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson on an appointment basis.
SFO first began offering on-site vaccines in February when it partnered with San Mateo County to provide vaccines to health care workers and county residents over 65. The airport converted one of its multi-story garages into a drive-through vaccination facility. Over 26,500 doses were administered through this program.
SFO also opened a vaccination clinic in the International Terminal in early May, offering doses to airport employees, residents and travelers. This program was administered through a partnership with Safeway and administered nearly 2,200 doses.
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