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.
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.
Watch: What you need to know about COVID-19 variants
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.
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.
Watch: Crowds gather in Amsterdam despite COVID-19 restrictions