The business of vaccine tourism is thriving - but is it ethical?
As international travelers come to America for COVID-19 vaccines from areas where shots are scarce, what are the ethical implications?
There was a strong reaction from News 12's viewers to our Team 12 Investigation on global vaccine tourism and its impact in the tri-state area.
Our senior investigative reporter Tara Rosenblum showed that the trend has opened a heated, ethical discussion.
SEARCH FOR A CURE: Statistics and State Resources
News 12 asked one of the nation's top voices on medical ethics to weigh in on the highly charged issue.
Arthur Caplan, director of the medical ethics division at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine said he thinks it's wrong and that it is basically advantaging the rich.
Michael Osterholm, one of the nation's top epidemiologists, says a 'global' vaccination effort will ultimately leave "all of us" better off here at home.
"If we continue to see this virus spread throughout the low- and middle-income countries unfettered, they're going to spit out variants over the course of the next years that in each and every instance could challenge our vaccines," says Osterholm.
News 12's tally of states that allow for vaccine tourism is changing almost daily.
MORE: Team 12 Investigates: As vaccine seekers cross state lines, could residency rules face changes?
There are currently 22 states without residency requirements, but that list will grow to 23 next week when New Hampshire allows out-of-staters to get vaccinated.
Many state leaders are defending their policies.
A spokeswoman for Michigan's Department of Health tells News 12 that they know the vaccine is the way out of the pandemic and a chance to return to normalcy, and that no shot in the arm is wasted.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all have residency requirements for the vaccine.
In News 12's investigation, we’ve shown you travelers who get around those requirements, but News 12 has yet to learn of a single case of someone being fined or charged for violating state residency regulations.
If you have a story to share about vaccine tourism, News 12's Tara Rosenblum wants to hear from you. You can reach her at TDROSENBLUM@news12.com.