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Dutch offered free pickled herring to take Covid jab

·1-min read
New herring (Nieuwe Haring) is a Dutch culinary speciality  (AFP via Getty Images)
New herring (Nieuwe Haring) is a Dutch culinary speciality (AFP via Getty Images)

Dutch people who find themselves in a pickle over whether to take up a coronavirus vaccination now have an extra incentive – free raw fish.

Batches of traditional Dutch herring are being distributed to vaccination centres across the Netherlands to encourage people to get their jabs, according to Dutch newspaper Haarlems Dagblad.

The first barrel of new-season herring, or “Hollandse neuwe”, is caught from mid-May and usually auctioned for charity as part of Dutch tradition.

But the auction was suspended for a second year running as a result of Covid restrictions and the barrel was presented “on behalf of the Dutch people” to Andre Rouvoet, head of the municipal health services that organises the country’s vaccination programme.

Mr Rouvoet was pictured eating the dish earlier this week, the paper said.

Other barrels have been sent to vaccine centres across the country, with the fish being offered to vaccination staff and everyone who turns up for their jabs.

Agnes Leewis, director of the Dutch fish marketing board, told Haarlems Dagblad: “We can now hopefully trust that everyone in the Netherlands will feel like a ‘New Dutch’ in a very short time.”

She added: “A herring for a jab. Who could possibly resist?”

More than 12.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far, according to the Dutch government.

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