More than 3 million people have already registered for the coronavirus vaccination in Hungary, Viktor Orbán noted, adding that those over 60 years of age will enjoy priority, as they are more at risk.
Hungary has ordered enough Western vaccines for 13 million people and enough Eastern ones for a further 3.5 million, the PM said. The latter have been arriving pretty much on time; however, those coming from the EU are still being rolled out slowly, causing “weekly disappointments.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases is steadily growing, the prime minister warned, underlining that a tough couple of weeks are ahead of us. He also stated that “there is no need for foreign aid yet” and that “we have more hospital beds than anyone in Europe and the most ventilators, too.”
He also discussed that the European Union is the most coronavirus-infected area in the world, with total cases hitting 5.5 percent of its population; in terms of the number of fatalities from the virus, the situation is even worse.
PM Orbán noted that both Israel and Great Britain are well ahead of us in terms of vaccination rate, with 70-80 percent and 40-50 percent, respectively, of their populations already vaccinated; this is far below 7 percent in the EU. “Something is wrong here,” Viktor Orbán said, adding, “if we hadn’t ordered Eastern vaccines, we would be in big trouble.” He also said that "bureaucrats in Brussels cannot defend themselves by not making their contracts public."
It is mutant variants of the coronavirus that are causing the current difficult situation, the prime minister pointed out, emphasizing that the vaccines available in Hungary protect against all mutations known so far. If that remains the case, we only have a few weeks to endure until the reopening, he added. He reiterated that those businesses that have had to close would receive financial support.
The prime minister also noted that “we cannot get into this situation again,” and scientists are making progress in developing a Hungarian vaccine; for this, he stressed, we will also need production capacity so that in a year's time, Hungary will be self-sufficient in terms of vaccines.
Referring to the upcoming national holiday of March 15 [the beginning of Hungary’s 1848 Revolution for independence from Habsburg rule], PM Orbán concluded that if we join forces, we will regain our freedom in 2021 as well.