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Serbian diner thanks those getting COVID shots with plates of roast meat

Reuters logo Reuters 04/05/2021
Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination © Reuters/MARKO DJURICA Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination

Kragujevac, SERBIA(Reuters) - Get a COVID-19 vaccine and you will be served a plate of spit-roast ox or wild game goulash for free - in the Serbian city of Kragujevac.

Restaurateur Stavro Raskovic offered the popular local dishes on Tuesday as his way of promoting vaccination and campaigning for the full reopening of the country's restaurants, cafes and bars which can only serve patrons outdoors.

Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination © Reuters/MARKO DJURICA Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination

Lockdowns in 2020 and partial restrictions this year, have driven Biblioteka kod Milutina (Milutin's Library) restaurant to the brink, said Raskovic, as dozens lined up to get their jab and a plate of charcoal-roasted meat.

Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination © Reuters/MARKO DJURICA Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination

"Our trade, catering, has been particularly hit... and if this (vaccination) is the way out, then we wanted to contribute," he told Reuters.

Local health authorities turned the main restaurant's hall into a vaccination point to deliver shots made by Pfizer/BioNtech, and China's Sinopharm.

"Today... we have (vaccines from) both East and West on the menu, to everybody's taste," said Raskovic.

Last December, Serbia started a nationwide inoculation campaign, allowing people to choose either the Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Russian Sputnik V or Sinopharm shot.

Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination © Reuters/MARKO DJURICA Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination

Bane Jajic, a 63 years-old man from Kragujevac, praised Raskovic's idea while enjoying a plate of roast ox and a beer.

"Some day ... someone will say that uncle Bane was vaccinated right here," he said.

Around a third of Serbia's population of 7 million have received at least one vaccine dose so far. COVID-19 has killed 6,456 people in the Balkan country and 694,473 were infected.

Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination © Reuters/MARKO DJURICA Serbian restaurant offers roasted ox to promote COVID-19 vaccination

(Reporting by Fedja Grulovic and Marko Djurica; Writing by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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