Forget free beers, lotteries and discount food, a brothel in Austria has come up with a sure-fire way to incentivise people to get the coronavirus vaccine. Not only is Fun Palast in Vienna administering jabs, it’s offering up a 30-minute session in the ‘sauna club’ with the ‘lady of your choice’ to anyone who gets the vaccine at the on-site clinic. Two birds, one stone, right?
According to The New York Post, the adult entertainment business is hoping to boost vaccination rates, while also attracting new clientele. In Austria, only around 65 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated, with those who are yet to be jabbed barred from restaurants, hotels, salons and other public spaces. And the screws are tightening.
Just this week, the country introduced new 2G rules, which come in response to a rapidly rising infection rate. A spike saw Austra’s case numbers rise to over three times the level of neighbouring Germany. In response, Austrian authorities said they would step up police checks to enforce new rules for unvaccinated people, while adding a further 800 officers to the regular patrol. For the sex work industry, however, the pandemic has been dire. With fewer tourists travelling to the region, numbers have dropped dramatically, prompting Fun Palast to hatch a new plan.
The brothel will provide vaccinations every Monday from 4pm to 10pm through the month of November, in an effort to curb the negative sentiment around getting the jab. Heeding the call will land you with a sauna club voucher worth €40 and a ‘lady of your choice’.
“Many men, very many men with a migration background, virtually refuse vaccination or don’t even know that you can be vaccinated,” Fun Palast manager Peter Laskaris told Reuters, via The New York Post. “And since we are actually reaching this target group, we decided to set up a vaccination street here.”
It’s not just men who are being offered the deal, either. According to reports, boys as young as 14 are allowed access to the clinic, provided they have an adult with them. Additionally, women are also being encouraged to visit the brothel for a jab. Best of all, it seems to be paying off.
“Since the 2G rule (vaccinated or recovered) has been in place, there has been a real rush to get vaccinated,” said Laskaris. “We have had a lot of people come in today to get vaccinated.”
While the Austrian government expects around a four-week transitionary period for the unvaccinated population to take up the call, initiatives like those seen at Fun Palast could become more common. Turns out the best way to get people to take the jab is to roll up your sleeve and show a little skin. Who would’ve thought?