Wealthy members of a British club will have access, for almost 50,000 euros, to the most controversial vacation of the pandemic: a three-week trip to United Arab Emirates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Knightsbridge Circle, whose annual membership fee amounts to 25,000 pounds (about 28,000 euros), offers its customers the possibility of paying a relaxing holiday to get immunized in Dubai, where, unlike the UK, vaccinations by private services are allowed.
The founder of the club, Stuart McNeill, was shown in an interview with Efe “proud” to be able to present this service to the hundreds of members of the Knightsbridge Circle, of which 40% reside regularly in the UK and the rest, in countries like France, Russia or Switzerland.
According to McNeill, the proposal to immunize abroad, open exclusively to customers over 65, It is an advantage for those who do not reach the current minimum age for vaccination set by the British Government (from 70 years, from this Monday) or who reside in countries that do not have a public immunization program.
“If our members are under 65, we have considered vaccinating their parents or grandparents instead“, Highlighted the founder of the club, who said he was opening the door to a” better quality of life. “
Business trips “already scheduled”
The Knightsbridge Circle Vaccination and Holiday Program, valued at around £ 43,000 (about € 48,200) —With the cost of the vaccine included in the annual membership fee— offers complete care during the three-week trip in Dubai, with flights, accommodation and the transfer vehicle at the expense of the members.
“We send our doctors to the clients’ homes to do the PCR test required for travel and then we receive them at the airport with representatives who accompany them throughout the journey. The day after their arrival, when they are settled in, we send them a Range Rover or the car of their choice to take them to our clinic, where they receive the first dose of the vaccine”McNeill explained.
After 21 days “enjoying the sun” of Dubai, with temperatures that these days oscillate around 25 degrees, the members receive the second dose of the preparation and can now fly back to their residences with a certificate of immunization.
The club insists that this service is offered following the security measures against the coronavirus established by each region and that, in the case of customers traveling from countries such as the UK —where there is currently a lockdown-, there are no restrictions because they fly within the framework of previously scheduled business trips.
The exclusive vaccination program, revealed by the British newspaper The Telegraph, has been received on social networks with mixed feelings.
Supporting users of the initiative argued that it “allows progress towards herd immunity” and “takes the rich out of the queue” for vaccination, thereby contributing to “decongesting” and “saving funds” for public health.
On the other hand, critical voices charged against the idea that a few can “skip the order” of immunization thanks to money while “essential workers are still unvaccinated”.
The British Government recalls on its website that in the UK “The vaccine against COVID-19 only available through the NHS [servicio público de salud] for eligible groups and it is a free vaccine ”, therefore, it is not allowed to pay to be immunized in this country by private means or in a pharmacy.
Asked about this moral debate, the founder of the club remarked that he is doing “something good” of which he is “proud” and said that in no case was he facilitating “skipping the queue” for anyone.
“If you were giving the vaccine to 35-year-old men who go to the gym twice a day, it is clear that you should not do it, and if someone does, it is totally negative,” said McNeill, convinced that offering immunization to those over 65 years it is a “good deed”.
In addition, he stressed that the residents of the Emirates “have already been vaccinated,” so it is “morally correct” for club members to travel to the country to receive the vaccine.
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