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Vaccination vacations take-off for super-rich

Accommodation at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai is offered as part of a 'vaccination vacation' to the UAE.

It was bound to happen, exclusive 'vaccination vacations' for those that can afford them.

It has been revealed in the British press that members of GBP25,000-a-year concierge service Knightsbridge Circle are being offered the opportunity of luxury trips that include receiving a Covid-19 inoculation.

According to London’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Knightsbridge Circle members based both in the United Kingdom and overseas are flying to the United Arab Emirates and India, often on private jets, to get vaccinated.

The company has been using Pfizer and China’s Sinopharm vaccinations in the UAE and from today will be taking advantage of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab in India.

Knightsbridge Circle founder Stuart McNeill told The Daily Telegraph that he is also currently in talks with doctors who are to set-up clinics in Marrakech and fly-in batches of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India. He said India is harder in terms of visa issues.

Because of the 21-day waiting period between the two jabs recommended by the pharmaceutical companies, members are able enjoy a luxury holiday while they are away. According to McNeill, some clients in India choose to remain in their high-end villas with chef and household staff, while others opt to fly to Madagascar between jabs to take advantage of a two-stop break.

For the UAE trips, clients can expect first-class Emirates flights, meet-and-greet at the airport and accommodation for a month in a sea view Jumeirah Beach apartment, along with the all-important vaccinations. The cost for such a trip is around GBP40,000.

As to the ethics of vaccination vacations, McNeill says Knightsbridge Circle has not yet vaccinated anybody under the age of 65. He told the The Daily Telegraph that he “feels proud” the company is able to offer vaccinations to senior citizens from countries that do not have the benefit of a national health service or have not yet begun a vaccination programme, citing a client who has elderly parents in Pakistan as an example. He said he has received “desperate” calls from Australia, Shanghai, Kiev, the US and African countries.

The coronavirus vaccination is currently only available in the public health sector in most countries, including the United Kingdom. Residents must wait their turn as the British National Health Service works its way through the population in strict order of age, profession or health status. Most other countries are offering a similar, public-health based roll-out, with those most at risk at the head of the queue.

Meanwhile, private clinics are waiting for governments to give private vaccinations the go ahead; McNeill says he has a Harley Street clinic in London ready and waiting.

“Being realistic, I’m saying to our members that they might be waiting a while and may want to consider flying to a different destination,” he said.


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