The COVID-19 vaccine is rolling out slower than many Europeans would like and, because of that, it’s creating a unique form of vaccination vacations, which allow those with the resources to find their shots elsewhere.
United Kingdom officials are facing a wide-reaching amount of backlash as residents looking for private vaccinations can’t find any available until all those in the vulnerable categories have received inoculations, no matter how plentiful the supplies might be.
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Having supplied 18.18 doses per 100 residents, the United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in terms of vaccinations per person. Yet, some are still left in line for the shots that the world has been clamoring for since the pandemic shook the globe a year ago.
So how do people go on “vacation” in a country under lockdown? There’s a loophole that some are questioning the ethics of. Despite the strict adherence to stay-home orders, people are permitted to leave their homes in order to receive medical treatment, which includes vaccinations. With vaccines becoming more prevalent worldwide, those taking advantage of this legality are likely to provide a major boost to tourism abroad for countries that have shots ready to shoot.
Currently, there’s a package offered by Knightsbridge Circle that features a first-class or private flights, a hotel accommodation for up to one month as you await a second dose, along with a private vaccination. These trips can price at an astounding $55,000. There are a wide range of options, with destinations like Dubai and India on the list that include any of the available vaccines.
“I’m delighted that Knightsbridge Circle is the first service in the world to offer the vaccine privately,” Stuart McNeill, Founder of Knightsbridge Circle, explained to Forbes. “However, (remaining ethical is paramount. It’s crucial to note that each person who resides in the United Arab Emirates has already been offered the vaccine, and our members below the age of 65 are not able to receive the vaccine through us. My team on the ground are overseeing each appointment to ensure that the client booking the vaccine is the person receiving it.”
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That long stay for a second dose might soon be an unneeded necessity as pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is rolling out a vaccine which requires only one injection, rather than the current two. While the United States has approved this treatment, the U.K. is next in line to do so.
Some countries are still taking longer to go through with the vaccination process and Germany is one of them. Unlikely to start mass inoculations before late spring or early summer, they have been the the key area targeted for many of these tourism boards.
However, there are plenty who stand against the practice like Karl Lauterbach of the German Social Democratic Party, who calls it is an “unethical business model” when travel agencies attract visitors with the promise of vaccination.
Wherever you stand on the issue, one thing is clear – progress. After a tumultuous year of coronavirus hysteria, we might finally see the light at the end of a long tunnel. Whether you pay $55,000 to get there now or simply wait a while longer is completely up to you.
Sources: Straits Times, Forbes
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