A Serbian hermit who has been living in a cave for the past 20 years only learned about the COVID-19 pandemic during one of his visits to town last year. 

Panta Petrovic then made sure he got vaccinated once COVID-19 vaccines became available in his country. The Serbian hermit has even said that he wants to get a booster shot to keep him protected against the virus. 

Serbian Hermit Living in Cave Gets COVID-19 Vaccine

Serbian Hermit Emerges from Cave to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Shot
(Photo : Oliver Munic / AFP / Screenshot taken from the AFP website)

The Serbian hermit, 70-year-old Panta Petrovic, has been residing in Stara Planina mountain by himself for two decades now, according to Futurism. The mountain is located in southern Serbia. 

The cave he calls home is accessible only if one is willing to do a steep climb. Petrovic lives there with some animals he keeps in a nearby shack. These animals include around 30 dogs and cats, chickens, goats, and a wild boar he named Mara.

Petrovic sleeps on a stack of hay he keeps inside the cave. The Serbian hermit's home also has a few benches as well as an old, rusty bathtub he uses as a toilet. 

According to the report by Futurism, the Serbian hermit decided to live the isolated lifestyle 20 years ago. Petrovic survives "mostly on foraged mushrooms, fish in a nearby creek, and occasionally venturing out into a nearby town to look for food in garbage bins." 

It was during one of those visits last year that he first learned about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Once the COVID-19 became available in the country, the Serbian hermit made sure he got vaccinated. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

The Serbian hermit does not understand the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among other people Petrovic is actually encouraging everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccines. 

"It (the virus) does not pick. It will come here, to my cave, too," according to Petrovic, as quoted by Agence France-Presse

Per Futurism, the Serbian hermit has actually said that he wants to get "all three doses, including the extra one." He urges all the citizens of Serbia to get their COVID-19 vaccines. 

COVID-19 vaccine hesitation and skepticism is fueled in part by the misinformation being spread online both about the virus and the vaccines. While social media sites such as Facebook have been doing what they can to battle misinformation, it is also being spread by smaller anti-COVID-19 vaccine groups who do livestreams. 

There have also been doctors who claimed that fellow physicians have contributed to COVID-19 misinformation

Related Article: COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Like 'Standing Near a Vaccinated Person Will Destroy Your Body' That Have Been Debunked by Experts

COVID-19 Situation in Serbia

According to Serbia on its COVID-19 website, the European country has a total of 732,404 confirmed cases as of press time. 

7,167 confirmed deaths have been recorded by the country. Serbia's mortality ratio is at 0.98%. 

Also Read: 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine Shot for Immunocompromised Persons Set to be Allowed by FDA- Which Vaccines Apply?

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Written by Isabella James

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