PM Orbán in radio interview: We will have 3.5 million people vaccinated by April 20
If we disobey the regulations during Easter, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned, “we could find ourselves in big trouble.” On Kossuth Rádió this morning, the prime minister spoke about vaccination plans for the upcoming weeks, the “sinful” anti-vaccination campaign, and future cooperation with Matteo Salvini and Mateusz Morawiecki.
Beginning his regular Friday morning interview on public radio, Prime Minister Orbán revealed that more than 2 million people in Hungary have already been vaccinated, and around 860,000 of these have already received their second dose. However, the prime minister warned, “the experts are right;” if we disobey the regulations during Easter, “we could find ourselves in big trouble.”
“Soon, we will reach the point where the vaccination progress will lead to decreasing infection figures,” Prime Minister Orbán said, adding that following Easter, there will be more than 2.3 million people in Hungary who have received at least the first shot of the vaccine. “The week after that, this number will hit 3 million, and 3.5 million the following week,” the PM said.
According to the prime minister, the fact that close to 2.5 million people will be vaccinated right after Easter means that new regulations, including longer opening hours and a later curfew, can finally come into effect. “If we reach 3.5 million people vaccinated, then we are going to introduce another round of new measures, but I will talk about that probably next week,” Prime Minister Orbán said.
“Many believe that we can stop the virus with restrictions. They are wrong. This British mutation of the virus is different; we can slow its spread, but we cannot stop it. The only way to kill it is with the vaccine,” PM Orbán stressed. As to the fact that other EU member states are lagging behind in terms of inoculating their populations, the prime minister said that “ignoring Eastern vaccines due to political and ideological reasons, or because of an old feeling of superiority, was a mistake.”
Speaking up against the anti-vaccination campaign in Hungary, the prime minister called it an “outright sin,” as “those who are talked out of getting vaccinated may die; they will die if they listen to left-wing parties.”
“The next time we meet, I hope I will be able to tell you that everybody above the age of 65 has received the shot,” PM Orbán said, adding that currently there are 3.7 million people who have signed up for the jab. “If we tie the services that are connected to a happy and normal life to getting vaccinated, then people’s willingness to register will also increase.
About his meeting yesterday in Budapest with Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Prime Minister Orbán said that the idea of a future cooperation in Europe took center stage during the discussions. “We believe that the European People’s Party has committed itself to the European Left for the long run,” the PM said, adding that the cooperation of Europe’s Right and Left took the form of the right-wing accepting the Left’s program.