As governments across the world struggle to come up with ideas to convince skeptics to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a man in Turkey appears to have come up with an irresistible way.
The staple of Turkish cuisine: Kebab.
Uğur Aydın, an owner of a restaurant in Turkey’s kebab capital Adana, has been watching the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic and decided to contribute with a tasty offer: free kebab for anyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine.
After Aydın announced he would serve free kebab to the first 1,000 people who showed up at his restaurant after receiving their shots, the outcome proved perhaps even more successful than what campaigns with multi-million dollar budgets.
“Everyone is trying to contribute to the vaccination drive in the country. We thought we could represent our city Adana by offering free kebabs,” Aydın said to Ihlas News Agency (IHA).
“We just want everyone to get vaccinated so we can return to our old lives,” he added.
According to Aydın, around 700 people showed up to claim their free kebabs within the first day. And those lucky enough to chomp down the free kebabs approved the ingenuity of the spicy campaign.
Saying that he came across Aydın’s offer on social media, one man said offering free kebabs in a city like Adana was too tempting to pass up.
“I advise everyone to get vaccinated. This was a really nice offer. As people in Adana, we have a fondness for kebabs,” Seleahattin Gökdağ told IHA.
Another man, who received his second dose, believed the campaign could be motivating enough for the entire city to get vaccinated.
“I just had my second dose and I came to eat my kebab. It’s a nice little campaign for people in Adana. I really believe the entirety of Adana might get vaccinated after this offer,” Abdurrahman Karaikiz said.
Vaccine skepticism has been a thorn in Turkey’s fight against the pandemic, like many other countries.
The Health Ministry previously introduced persuasion teams, whose sole goal is to find people who refuse to get vaccinated despite having a shot reserved under their name and change their minds.
Aydın’s offer came in a week when Turkey has exponentially increased its vaccination capacity with the arrival of tens of millions of doses of BioNTech shots. While his campaign might be limited, its ingenuity could teach a thing or to the Health Ministry.
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