NEW ORLEANS—The country is a ways away from the majority being fully vaccinated. While some vaccination events are seeing a decrease in vaccine acceptance, some are continuing to see steady numbers of people wanted to get vaccinated because of a desire to travel.
COVID-19 vaccine could be the injection boost needed to fuel a crippled vacation industry and the desire to travel could be a tool that encourages those apprehensive about getting vaccinated to decide to get the shot.
Aimee Drake is a resident of Texas who traveled to New Orleans to attend LCMC’s weekly mass vaccination event at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
“I definitely got it to be able to travel. both of my parents live in different cities and they are not exactly in the best of health. They can’t travel at all. I definitely got inoculated to see them. Also, I’m not someone who wants to stay at home and I don’t want to be irresponsible,” says Drake.
While gas prices may be up, airfare tickets are low. Also, cruise liners are continuing to offer low-ball deals to encourage people to book, even though the sail dates continually change. Cruise lines are also at the forefront of those in the private sector who are looking hard at implementing a vaccine passport, that would require proof of vaccination to set sail. They hope that if everyone onboard is vaccinated, it might compel people to cruise again if they view it as safe.
New Orleans’ international airport, was down 97 percent in traveling last April. They suffered around 60 percent throughout the pandemic. As of this April, they are down 40 percent as more look to the friendly skies as a way out of social distancing. New Orleans Airport Aviation Director, Kevin Dolliole says “you can see the correlation of the timing of vaccine becoming more accessible and the airport seeing higher numbers. You might see the vaccine as a pathway to traveling and moving around in a safer way.”
Don Redman is the spokesman for AAA of Louisiana and says, AAA is experiencing more people calling to book vacations.
“I think, as more people become vaccinated, the more confident they are at being able to travel. We’re not calling on anyone to getting vaccine for those reasons. It’s still your personal choice but understand that it may be a requirement for certain modes of transportation. Hopefully, we can get more people vaccinated and we can feel more confident and we can get ourselves back and track and back in business.” says Redman.
Whether planning a domestic or international trip or making the decision to get a vaccine; it’s a new age of exploration. AAA says if you do decide to take a vacation, be very aware of constantly changing COVID requirements. Some states still require people to wear masks, while some states do not. Mandatory quarantining and COVID tests three days from departure is a reality for some wishing to travel abroad.