Netherlands vaccine centres offer free herring to people who get their COVID jab

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THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 15: GGD chairman Andre Rouvoet eats fish from the first barrel of new herring on June 15, 2021 in The Hague, Netherlands. The traditional first barrel is presented to the national health services GGD. Chairman André Rouvoet is offered the so-called Hollandse Nieuwe (New Dutch) at a vaccination location in The Hague by the Dutch Fish Marketing Board. (Photo by Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
GGD chairman Andre Rouvoet eats fish from the first barrel of new herring on Tuesday in The Hague, Netherlands. (Getty Images)

Vaccination centres in the Netherlands are offering free soused herring as an incentive for people to get their coronavirus jabs, it has been reported.

The Haarlems Dagblad newspaper said batches of the raw fish delicacy had been shipped to vaccine centres across the country.

The first barrel of new-season herring - or “Hollandse Nieuwe” - caught from the middle of May is usually auctioned for charity as part of Dutch tradition.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 2020/06/11: Soused herring being prepared for nurses during the event.
Hollandse Nieuwe offers its soused herring as a token of appreciation to Intensive Care staff who have been on the front line during the coronavirus crisis at Erasmus MC hospital. (Photo by Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Dutch delicacy soused herring has been sent to vaccination centres. (Getty Images)
HELMOND, NETHERLANDS - 2021/04/27: Panoramic view of the vaccination process in the booths in Helmond.
A mega XL Covid19 Vaccination center opened in Helmond providing more than 5000 jabs per day. The new location, a former factory that has been converted to a Covid19 Vaccination center being operated by GGD and currently providing Pfizer vaccines. (Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A vaccination centre in Helmond in the Netherlands. (Getty Images)

However, for the second year running, the coronavirus pandemic has scuppered the auction, so the barrel was presented to Andre Rouvoet, chairman of the Municipal Health Services (GGD) that organises vaccinations.

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He was pictured eating the dish earlier this week.

Other barrels have been sent to centres across the Netherlands, with the herring offered to vaccination staff and people who arrive for their jabs.

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

Referring to those getting their vaccines, she said: “A herring for a jab. Who could possibly resist?”

In the Netherlands, soused herring usually served plain as a snack but sometimes with bread or onions.

According to the Dutch government, more than 12.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered.

A hospital employee is vaccinated with the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at the HMC Westeinde on April 26, 2021 as nearly half of the first batch of Janssen doses in the Netherlands is intended for hospital staff who are in direct contact with patients. - Netherlands OUT (Photo by Jerry Lampen / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by JERRY LAMPEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
More than 12.8 million people have been vaccinated in the Netherlands. (AFP via Getty Images)

It expects to give out 1.5 million jabs this week, and 341 people in the Netherlands are receiving a dose each minute.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.7 million cases of coronavirus in the Netherlands, with 17,998 deaths.

The country has a population of 17 million.

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