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Vaccines not vampires at Dracula’s castle

A vaccination drive at Bran Castle in Romania
Image caption: A vaccination marathon is underway at Bran Castle in Romania

Visitors to Bran Castle in Romania this month can expect a jab in the arm rather than a bite in the neck, as the Dracula attraction takes part in a vaccination drive.

Health authorities have opened up Bran Castle in Transylvania for jabs every weekend this May, without the need to pre-book. The site is believed to have been an inspiration for Bram Stoker, who wrote the 1897 vampire novel Dracula.

Doctors and nurses administered the injections to any interested visitors before they continued on their tour.

“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,” engineer Liviu Necula told AFP news agency.

A vaccinated man at Bran Castle, Romania
Image caption: Doctors and nurses gave out the jabs at the castle

Romania is using tourist attractions, local vaccination drives and even 24-hour vaccine “marathons” to get as many people to take the jab as possible.

Some 3.6 million of Romania’s 19 million population have had at least one dose of the vaccine so far. Authorities want to have jabbed five million by June, but are struggling to attract interest, with one study by think tank GLOBSEC suggesting that less than 50% of the population would be willing to get the vaccine


Bran Castle in Romania
Image caption: It’s thought Bran Castle was an inspiration for Bram Stoker when he wrote the novel Dracula

By Jack Skelton

BBC Sport

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