The Romanian health authority has established a Covid-19 vaccine centre at Dracula’s castle in Transylvania as part of the nation’s vaccine program.Medics are now stationing the castle meaning all visitors can receive the Pfizer shot. The medics also wear stickers showing Dracula’s fangs.
Alexandru Priscu, the director of the country’s most popular tourist site, said:
“The idea… was to show how people got jabbed 500-600 years ago in Europe.”
The castle, which dates from the 14th-century, and has a museum inside it, is offering free entry and a vaccine to anyone of any age who wants one. It is hoped that the marketing will also encourage tourists to the site, which has been heavily affected by the pandemic.
The castle served as inspiration for the 19th-century novel Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker. The fictional Dracula lived in the castle and lured individuals their so he could feast on their blood. It sits around 100 miles from the capital Bucharest and was once home to the infamous King ‘Vlad the Impaler‘.
Vaccine hesitancy is strong in Romania, with as many as 50% of the population saying they will not be getting the vaccine. Many have fears that have been stoked by fake news on social-networking sites and due to the low level of trust of Romanians have in their government. This hesitancy rate is among the highest in the world.1 million Romanians have already been officially infected, though the number is believed to be far higher, and 29,000 have died from Covid-19. The goal of the government is to immunise 10 million of the over 19 million total Romanian population by September of this year. Thereby offering the possibility of a road back to normality for the south-eastern European nation.