Vacationing and Flu Shot Arbitrage

Via Travel Notes, a Jamaica Resort is offering travel packages which include flu vaccines.

    ”There is no shortage of flu vaccines in Jamaica and there’s no mad rush of people trying to get one,” said Zein Nakash, marketing vice president at SuperClubs, which owns the Grand Lido Negril resort and spa.

    ”We should have enough (vaccines) for anyone who wants one,” she said.

Which leads me to ask: how is it that ‘too many’ vaccines made it to Jamaica and not enough to the U.S.? And if the packages are in high demand, as suggested by the article, why aren’t flu shots being exported to the U.S.? Surely the flu shot package cost exceeds the the transportation cost of the vaccine.

I can speculate, but I’m not enough of an expert to offer a real answer to these questions.

I assume that excess flu shots can’t be imported to the U.S. due to various FDA rules, but don’t know this. Even if those rules exist, why did an excess of flu shots wind up there in the first place when there aren’t enough coming to the U.S.? Is it just a matter of the flu shot shortage here coming as a surprise?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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