BITS ON THE MATTER
Free beer boosts turnout far New York’s vaccination
NEW York’s Erie County in which residents received a free pint with their first COVID-19 shot, resulted in a record number of vaccinations, says the county’s top elected official.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz said roughly more people were vaccinated at the first-dose clinics than at most of the county’s first-dose clinics in the past week combined.
“It’s been a success. We figured it would be pretty good, but now we’re seeing the results. The county partnered with a microbrewery Resurgence Brewing Company for the “Shot and Chaser program.”
Erie follows other local government with such a program including New York’s Suffolk County and New Jersey, in an effort to get more Americans, particularly younger people, vaccinated, as participation rates slow after an initial surge.
Meanwhile a castle in Romania which houses a Dracula museum has been converted into a coronavirus vaccination centre to draw more visitors.
Bran Castle, which is thought to have inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, dates from the 14th century and is located in the Carpathian Mountains.
Medics, who wear scrubs with fang stickers on, are offering people Pfizer vaccine shots every weekend in May. Each jab comes with free entry to the site’s museum on medieval torture.
The former royal palace turned to the service after tourist numbers dropped significantly during the pandemic.
Speaking about the scheme, Alexandru Priscu, the castle’s head of marketing, said: “The idea… was to show how people got jabbed 500-600 years ago in Europe.”
Fernando Orozco, 37, a renewable energy market developer, took the opportunity to be immunised. “I was already planning to come to the castle and I just thought it was the two-for-one special,” he told Reuters.
Romania has recorded more than a million COVID-19 cases and almost 29,000 deaths from the virus, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The country has so far fully vaccinated 2,254,449 people, equivalent to 11.65 per cent of its population. This is much lower than the UK’s 25.76 per cent but is higher than some other European countries, including the Netherlands, whose total stands at 5.44 per cent of its populace.