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A free vaccination centre just opened up at Dracula’s castle

‘Impaled’ with a jab? A COVID-19 vaccination centre has been set up at Bran Castle, the site that inspired Count Dracula’s lair.

Romanian healthcare workers are offering free Pfizer vaccines to all people who visit Dracula’s castle. With the service being offered each weekend in May, attendees do not need to make appointments.

At the same time, people who receive the vaccine are rewarded with a certificate applauding their decision and stating they will be welcomed to the castle “for the coming 100 years”. As a bonus, a free tour of the castle’s torture instruments are available to recipients of the vaccine.

Bran Castle
Photo: George Calin via REUTERS

It’s one of many local vaccination centres set up across the country by the Romanian government, in the hopes it will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

Beatrice Mahler, the director of the National Institute of Pneumology Marius Nasta, has applauded the move.

“These centres are for everyone who wants to get vaccinated but doesn’t feel like making an appointment online,” Mahler said. Though unusual for a historical site, it appears that the initiative has been working.

“I came to visit the castle with my family and when I saw the poster I gathered up my courage and agreed to get the injection,” says Liviu Necula, a tourist at Bran Castle.

Another visitor, Fernando Orozco, had a similar story.

“I was already planning to come to the castle and I just thought it was the two-for-one special,” Orozco said.

 

Europe has seen its fair share of COVID-19 cases. However, a survey by Slovakian-based security company, Globsec, has found that Romania ranks as one of the highest in Europe when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Out of 19 million Romanians, approximately 3.6 million people have received some form of vaccination. Health officials hope the numbers will rise to five million by June.

It’s also hoped that the initiative will boost the local economy after the pandemic severely impacted visitor numbers.

Bran Castle’s marketing director, Alexander Priscu, perfectly summarised the reason behind the inventive marketing strategy.

“The idea … was to show how people got jabbed 500-600 years ago in Europe.”