Romania uses ‘Dracula’s Castle’ as COVID-19 vaccine ‘marathon’ site

Romania is trying to step up its coronavirus vaccination efforts by utilizing “Dracula’s Castle” as a vaccine center, offering perks to entice the more hesitant citizens.

Citizens can go for a vaccine at Bran Castle without an appointment, and they will receive a “vaccinated at Bran Castle” diploma, along with a free tour, according to a Facebook post by the tourism office.

The famous Bran Castle has been called “Dracula’s Castle” as it best fits the description of the famous dark lord’s home in Bram Stoker’s novel – even though Stoker never visited Romania, according to the castle’s website.

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The castle was built in Transylvania and completed in 1388 outside the city of Brasov.

A banner reading in Romanian "Who's afraid of vaccine" and depicting syringes as vampire fangs advertises the vaccination marathon organised at the "Bran Castle" (in background) in Bran village on May 8, 2021. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)

A banner reading in Romanian “Who’s afraid of vaccine” and depicting syringes as vampire fangs advertises the vaccination marathon organised at the “Bran Castle” (in background) in Bran village on May 8, 2021. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)

The “vaccine marathon” to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will occur every weekend in May during the day.

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The Romanian government has utilized other national venues to entice its residents to get the shot: The National Library in Bucharest is another such “marathon” site, according to The Guardian.

“These centres are for everyone who wants to get vaccinated but doesn’t feel like making an appointment online,” Beatrice Mahler, the director of Marius Nasta hospital, told AFP.

Romania has suffered just over 1 million cases of coronavirus, with around 29,000 deaths.

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Around 3.6 million of nearly 19 million Romanians have received at least the first dose. Romania, tied with Bulgaria, is the country least-inclined to get the vaccine, according to a survey of 10 European countries by consultancy firm Globsec.

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