79°F
weather icon Clear

COVID-19 vaccinations offered at Dracula’s castle

BUCHAREST — At Dracula’s castle in picturesque Transylvania, Romanian doctors are offering a jab in the arm rather than a stake through the heart.

A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up on the periphery of Romania’s Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind Dracula’s home in Bram Stoker’s 19th-century gothic novel “Dracula.”

Every weekend through May “vaccination marathons” will be held just outside the storied 14th-century hilltop castle, where no appointment is needed, in an attempt to encourage people to protect themselves against COVID-19.

“We wanted to show people a different way to get the (vaccine) needle,” Alexandru Priscu, the marketing manager at Bran Castle, told The Associated Press.

Those brave enough to get a Pfizer vaccine shot receive a “vaccination diploma,” which is aptly illustrated with a fanged medical worker brandishing a syringe.

“Besides the diploma, people benefit with free entry to the (castle’s) torture rooms, which have 52 medieval torture instruments,” Priscu noted.

Since the light-hearted campaign was launched over the weekend — when nearly 400 people were vaccinated — Priscu said he has received scores of requests from foreigners wishing to get vaccinated in the spooky setting. Bad news for them: only residents of Romania can officially receive a jab.

The campaign runs alongside a series of government initiatives as it pushes to speed up the inoculation campaign for the European Union nation of more than 19 million people. The government is hoping to vaccinate 5 million people by June 1 to herald in a “return to normality.”

On Saturday, all vaccination centers in the country became appointment-free after 2 p.m., and round-the-clock “vaccination marathon” events have been launched in several cities throughout Romania.

Since the pandemic started, Romania has recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 infections and 29,034 people have died.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
$28M bid gets ride into space with Jeff Bezos

The Amazon founder’s rocket company, Blue Origin, did not disclose the winner’s name following the live online auction. The identity will be revealed in a couple weeks.

Pulse Nightclub to be designated national memorial

The deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history left 49 people dead and 53 people wounded as “Latin Night” was being celebrated at the club.

 
Biden urges G-7 leaders to call out, compete with China

The president hopes the denunciation will be part of a joint communique to be released Sunday when the summit ends.

Teen who recorded Floyd’s arrest, death wins Pulitzer citation

The teenager who pulled out her cellphone and began recording when she saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer was given a special citation by the Pulitzer Prizes on Friday for her video that helped to launch a global movement to protest racial injustice.

Source: Troubled factory to throw out many J&J vaccine doses

U.S. regulators are allowing for the release of 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory, but material to make many more must be thrown out.

Less costly housing markets attracted many Americans in 2020

On average, people who moved to a different city in 2020 ended up in a ZIP code where average home values were nearly $27,000 lower than in their previous ZIP code, according to Zillow.