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£25,000-a-year private club flying members to UAE and India to get Covid vaccinations

The Independent logo The Independent 13/01/2021 Samuel Osborne
a group of people on a beach with a city in the background © Provided by The Independent

A £25,000-a-year private concierge service has been flying its members to the United Arab Emirates and India for luxury vaccination holidays.

Knightsbridge Circle said around 20 per cent of its clients had flown to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which are offering private appointments of the Pfizer vaccine.

The service has also been able to begin offering trips to India to get the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine this week.

“It’s like we’re the pioneers of this new luxury travel vaccine programme," Stuart McNeill, founder of Knightsbridge Circle, told The Telegraph. You go for a few weeks to a villa in the sunshine, get your jabs and your certificate and you’re ready to go."

Describing the vaccination process his firm offers, he said members - who often fly by private jet - are booked into a “beautiful villa with a swimming pool, chef and household staff."

He added: "They land, have their first jab and wait for the second one. We’ve got some people that are going to India for the whole time and others are talking about flying in, having the first jab, flying out to Madagascar, and then coming back for the second jab later.”

Mr McNeil said he estimated a month long trip to Dubai, with first class Emirates flights and a stay in the Jumeirah Beach hotel, could cost up to £40,000.

He said the cost of the vaccine was included in the group’s £25,000-a-year membership fee, along with complimentary access to a 24-hour medical concierge.

But Mr McNeil said Knightsbridge Circle had not facilitated the vaccination of anyone under the age of 65, saying the club had a “moral responsibility” to prioritise those who “really need” the vaccine.

 "It’s not just been our members, but their parents and their grandparents as well," he told the paper.

He said the service has allowed a client whose parents live in Pakistan and don’t have access to a national health service to get the vaccine.

He added : "But if you’re a 35 year old young chap who goes to the gym twice a day, you’ve got no chance of getting the vaccine through us. That’s for sure.”

Mr McNeill also said he was talking to doctors in Marrakech about the possibility of having the AstraZeneca vaccine transferred there from India, due to difficulties in getting visas to India for UK members.

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