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Jan 29, 2021 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: All of our efforts must be focused on vaccine procurement

In his regular Friday morning interview, Prime Minister Orbán spoke about Hungary’s progress with its coronavirus vaccination plan, intensifying help for bars and restaurants and the importance of registering to get vaccinated; he also announced the biggest higher-education development program in Hungary to date.

 

“Let’s not surrender the results we have achieved in the last three months,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the beginning of his interview on Kossuth Rádió. His comments were in connection to yesterday’s government decision to extend the restrictions currently in force until March 1.

According to PM Orbán, Hungary’s vaccination plan is “on track,” with doctors now finishing up the vaccination of elderly home residents and social care staff by the end of this week. “All of our healthcare workers have already been inoculated,” the prime minister added.

Responding to criticism of the government’s economic protection efforts, PM Orbán said that he has instructed his cabinet to intensify help for bars and restaurants. “Anger and emotions are now secondary. Decision-makers must be at their most sober when others get caught up in emotions,” the PM said, adding that when making decisions that fundamentally impact other people’s lives, we must stay calm.

“As long as there is not enough vaccine, we must understand that we need to adapt to the virus,” PM Orbán explained.

Stressing the importance of signing up to receive the shot, the prime minister said authorities can only reach out to those who have registered on the vakcinainfo.gov.hu website. “Those who register will receive information about when and where to go to get the shot,” he said, noting that more than 2 million Hungarians have already signed up but that this number is “too little to defeat the virus.”

“Personally, I will wait for the Chinese vaccine; that’s the one I trust the most. It is the Chinese who have known this virus for the longest time,” the PM said. The vaccine, PM Orbán continued, must not be made into a political question; “a choice between the Western and Eastern vaccine can only be made when we have these vaccines. If we don’t have them, we cannot decide.”

Announcing a hefty, HUF 1.5 trillion higher-education development program to take place over the next few years, Prime Minister Orbán said he hopes that science, research and higher education can become the “driving sectors” of Hungary’s economy in the upcoming decade.