Some American Citizens Return Home From Overseas To Receive COVID-19 Vaccinations

Monday, May 10th 2021, 12:27 pm
By: CBS News

A growing number of Americans living overseas are flying back to the U.S. to get vaccinated as the wait for a shot abroad can be long and frustrating.

American Amy Goldsmith lives in Istanbul.

“Because the situation in Turkey was so bad, I basically didn't leave my apartment for three weeks,” Goldsmith said.

Just before Turkey shut down the country to stop the spread of COVID-19, she saw an opportunity and flew back home in Virginia to get vaccinated.

“Because of the way the global supplies have been allocated, Americans have this incredible opportunity and I feel that that kind of privilege cannot be wasted,” she said.

Goldsmith counts herself lucky, fortunate enough to safely reunite with her 97-year-old vaccinated grandmother.

Connecticut residents James and Diane Charney also got tired of waiting at their home in the Italian countryside.

“We were not eligible in Italy up ‘til the time we left, we were too young,” James Charney said.

“We’re really old, but we weren’t quite old enough,” Diane Charney said.

Europe's vaccine rollout has been plagued by disruptions. Just more than 10% of all Europeans have been fully vaccinated. Compare that to more than 34% of Americans, according to the CDC.

“When we saw how well the vaccine roll out was happening here it was very impressive,” James Charney said.

U.S. officials don't count the number of Americans returning to be vaccinated, but more than nine million Americans currently live abroad.

“We’re very lucky that we were able to take advantage of something the U.S. is really doing well,” James Charney said.

In the U.S., at least 18 states have lifted their vaccine residency requirements, allowing people to travel across state lines to get a COVID-19 shot.