If you have a net worth of $800 million, then you may be in luck when it comes to securing the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Forbes, that’s the minimum standard you must reach to join Knightsbridge Circle, a prestigious luxury concierge service that has been flying its members to places like the United Arab Emirates to get inoculated.
The Telegraph in the U.K. first reported the news of the luxury vaccination “holidays.”
On its website, Knightsbridge Circle is described as “an exclusive travel and lifestyle service” that “has encapsulated a simple idea: exceptional personal service at an unsurpassed level.”
“A carefully curated membership ensures that clients receive unparalleled access to the very best of everything that life has to offer,” it reads.
Indeed, the concierge service currently has a long waiting list, and you’re only able to join if you’re personally invited. Additionally, the services are capped to 50 members only.
Knightsbridge Circle describes its services at length, saying it anticipates clients’ needs by “sourcing the most desirable events and bespoke journeys; locating luxurious accommodation and transport; negotiating premium upgrades and savings; opening doors to unique and unforgettable experiences.”
One of these “unique and unforgettable experiences” is flying to another country to get a COVID-19 vaccine, which the vast majority of the worldwide populace isn’t even close to receiving.
“It’s like we’re the pioneers of this new luxury travel vaccine program,” founder of Knightsbridge Circle Stuart McNeill said to The Telegraph, adding that approximately 20 per cent of members have already flown to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE to receive the vaccine.
“You go for a few weeks to a villa in the sunshine, get your jabs and your certificate and you’re ready to go.”
McNeill says the two UAE cities are offering up private vaccinations of the Pfizer vaccine, and in India, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. His services have only just secured the Indian trips, and he’s started booking them this week.
He estimates a cost of almost $70,000 for a month-long trip to Dubai with first-class Emirates flights, a meet-and-greet, accommodation in a sea-view apartment and, of course, the purpose of the voyage: the COVID-19 vaccination.
“They land, have their first jab and wait for the second one,” he said. “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.”
Sure, why not?
One caveat to the vaccination via Knightsbridge is it will not facilitate the package for anybody under 65 years of age. As of this writing, no one under that age has received the COVID-19 vaccine through the concierge service.
McNeill says his service has a “moral responsibility” to prioritize individuals who “really need” the vaccine.
“It’s not just been our members, but their parents and their grandparents as well,” he said to The Telegraph. “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.”
Around 40 per cent of Knightsbridge Circle members are from the U.K. It’s unclear how many members, if any, are Canadian. The services report a 15 per cent increase in membership numbers since the pandemic began last year.
In the past, Knightsbridge Circle has made some outrageous, dream-like scenarios come to fruition, including vow renewals by the Pope himself and a private viewing of the U.K.’s Crown Jewels in Tower Bridge.
News of the private trips comes as the world rushes to vaccinate amid big surges in COVID-19 infections, and as Canadian doctors call for more transparency about the vaccine rollout.
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians is calling for a clear description of who is being prioritized for the first doses and why. It also wants priority to go to those directly caring for patients who are critically ill or suspected of having COVID-19.
The association says many members in areas with limited human resources have not been vaccinated, but urban providers who have less patient contact appear to have received doses.
— With files from The Canadian Press