The oddities of Count Dracula are spine-chilling and hair-raising. The sempiternal vampire’s lair is a coffin, sleeps through the day, stealthily crawls down the walls of his sky-touching castle to draw blood from young women in the dead of night and whatnot. It goes without saying that this blood-sucking fictional character has given countless nightmares to readers across the globe. The quirky castle near the Borgo pass in Romania is featured as the residence of Dracula in ‘Dracula’, a gothic novel penned by Bram Stoker. The Bran Castle is in itself a tourist destination as hundreds of travellers visit the zany edifice every year.
But now the huge doors of the castle have thrown open to the public for a different purpose altogether. The fangs are a thing of the past and the needles are out, not to draw blood but to give the vital jab to keep the contagious coronavirus at bay.
The authorities concerned had announced recently that a marathon inoculation programme will be conducted in the month of May. The members of the public and tourists can walk in for a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination, that too free of cost. It is expected that more people and travellers would step into the Bran Castle tucked away in the misty Carpathian mountain ranges of Transylvania. It is not mandatory that everyone visiting the castle should take vaccination but if you get a shot from the castle, you can earn a “diploma” that vouches for the fact that you were vaccinated at the den of Count Dracula. Besides, the visitors also get the opportunity to see the medieval torture instruments housed in the castle.
There is also an interesting twist to how the vaccines are administered as nurses with long protruding Dracula teeth would be giving you the all-important jab.
The organizers believe that the unique experience of getting inoculated in the Dracula’s castle would boost the vaccination drive. The website of the castle says that protocol such as using sanitizers, wearing masks and maintaining social distance of 2.5m (6.6ft), among others should be followed by the visitors.
The medieval castle, which was built in 1388, became popular after it was featured in Irish writer Bram Stoker’s iconic novel ‘Dracula’ published in 1897. The twist in the tale is that Bram Stoker has never visited this eerie castle.
The vaccinations will be given on Friday from 2pm to 8pm; Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Presently, close to 11.96 percent of Romania’s population had been fully inoculated. As per the records of the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as many as 5,891,855 doses had been administered.