Free COVID-19 Vaccines Are Luring Visitors to Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania

The legendary location is now home to a no-appointment-needed vaccination center

Free COVID-19 Vaccines Are Luring Visitors to Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania
getting vaccinated at a legendary location from horror history: Bran Castle.

Every weekend this month, the fortress that’s believed to be the inspiration behind Count Dracula’s lair in Bram Stoker’s 19th-century gothic novel Dracula will be home to a free COVID-19 vaccination center where Romanians can get a Pfizer-BioNTech shot without making an appointment—or, as a Facebook post announcing the event put it, “another kind of sting.”

Daniel Mihailescu—AFP/Getty ImagesA banner reading “Who’s afraid of the vaccine?” in Romanian and depicting syringes as vampire fangs advertises the vaccination marathon organized at “Bran Castle” in Bran village in the central Transylvania region of Romania on May 8, 2021.

The first of the castle’s weekly “vaccination marathons” began on May 7, reportedly resulting in nearly 400 people receiving a dose from Friday to Sunday. “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, noting that people who get the shot also receive a fanged “vaccine diploma” and free entry to the castle’s medieval torture exhibit.

The Pfizer-BoiNTech vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, and was authorized for emergency use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration last December.

Despite numerous requests from foreigners, only Romanian residents are eligible to be jabbed at the gothic site, Priscu said.

The so-called vaccination marathons are part of a series of initiatives implemented by the Romanian government in an effort to vaccinate 5 million people by June 1. Romania has recorded more than a million coronavirus cases and over 29,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Bran Castle did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

Source : Time More   

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5 inflammation-fighting food swaps

Inflammation can be a beneficial sign that the body’s immune system is fighting an infection, but it can also linger over time, damaging the body. There is evidence that eating a diet heavy in foods that promote inflammation can increase the risk for certain health problems, and also that a healthy diet can reduce inflammation. The post 5 inflammation-fighting food swaps appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

5 inflammation-fighting food swaps

Inflammation: if you follow health news, you probably hear about it often. When is inflammation helpful? How can it be harmful? What steps can you take to tone it down?

What is inflammation and how does it affect your body?

If you’re not familiar with the term, inflammation refers to an immune system reaction to an infection or injury. In those instances, inflammation is a beneficial sign that your body is fighting to repair itself by sending in an army of healing white blood cells. As the injury heals or the illness is brought under control, inflammation subsides. You’ve probably seen this happen with a minor ankle sprain: the initial swelling disappears within days as the injury heals.

But inflammation also occurs without serving any healthful purpose, such as when you experience chronic stress, have an autoimmune disorder, or obesity. And instead of solving a problem and receding, inflammation like this can last over a period of time, damaging the body and potentially leading to health problems like arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and cancer.

This is why inflammation has taken center stage in recent years, and why strategies aimed at reducing it are so popular. Many of these anti-inflammation recommendations relate to your diet.

Can changes in your diet reduce unhelpful inflammation in your body?

The truth is, there are still many unknowns regarding diet and its connection to inflammation and disease. What is clear is that having a healthy diet can help improve overall health and longevity. There is also some evidence to support the notion that eating a host of nutritious foods can reduce inflammation. For example, people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables tend to have lower levels of a substance called C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation inside the body.

In addition, some research has found a link between diets heavy in foods that promote inflammation and a higher risk of certain health problems. For example, a study in Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people who consumed pro-inflammatory foods, including red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, and sugar-laden beverages, were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who regularly reached for anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens, beans, and tea.

It may be too soon to draw a direct line between the food you eat and levels of inflammation in your body. Fortunately, the foods that appear to reduce inflammation also tend to be good for you for other reasons. So, focusing on eating these foods can likely benefit your body in more than one way.

5 food swaps to help fight inflammation

A complete overhaul of your diet is challenging, so experts advise making smaller changes over time. Trying a series of simple swaps may add up to better health in the long term.

Below are five substitutions you can use to help reduce the number of inflammation-promoting foods in your diet.

  • Instead of a plain bagel with cream cheese, have a slice or two of whole-grain toast drizzled with olive oil. Whole grains contain substances that help promote the growth of healthy bacteria inside your body. That bacteria may then produce compounds that help to counteract inflammation. Regular consumption of olive oil also has benefits: along with anti-inflammatory effects, it may also help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Instead of a carbonated soda, try a cup of green tea. Green tea contains substances called catechins, a flavanol thought to combat inflammation. (Just be careful not to load your cup down with sugar.)
  • Instead of a corn muffin, substitute a handful of unsalted mixed nuts and an apple. Nuts bring a number of health benefits, including offering up a dose of healthy fats, protein, and (depending on the variety of nuts you are eating) phytochemicals. These phytochemicals contain antioxidants, which help clean up harmful substances called free radicals in the body. They are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well. Fruit such as apples also contains fiber and phytochemicals.
  • Instead of a steak and baked potato, have a serving of salmon with a side of broccoli. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other types of fish, such as tuna, sardines, and mackerel, have been linked with better heart health, possibly due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Broccoli is also a good source of fiber and is rich in vitamins C, E, K, and folate. It also contains carotenoids, a phytochemical.
  • Instead of a slice of cake, mix up a fruit salad using various types of berries. Fruits such as berries are rich in vitamins and inflammation-busting phytochemicals.

The post 5 inflammation-fighting food swaps appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

Source : Harvard Health More   

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