PM Orbán: We could double the number of vaccinated people over the next six weeks

In his regular Friday morning interview, Prime Minister Orbán spoke about Hungary’s vaccination program as well as the Hungarian opposition’s anti-vaccine campaign and announced more jobs for Hungarians after the pandemic.

Speaking on Kossuth Rádió this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán began by sharing the latest vaccination figures. “Out of the 8 million adult population that can be vaccinated, 3, 145,000 have already received the first dose, with 742,000 more getting the shot very soon,” PM Orbán said, adding that “we are near the point where we will have vaccinated half of the population.”

“The next six weeks are going to be decisive,” the PM said, adding that even though more than 500,000 doses of a “Western” vaccine (the Janssen shot) have now been lost, Hungary will make up for the missing jabs and proceed with the vaccination plan. Responding to foreign politicians who often criticize Hungary’s management of the virus, the prime minister said that, after Malta, Hungary is the country in Europe that has managed to inoculate the largest percentage of its population.

The fight against the coronavirus is the most challenging logistical operation in Hungary since World War II, Prime Minister Orbán stressed, thanking all those contributing to the success of the program. Thanks to their hard work, “we have been able to vaccinate almost everyone who signed up to get the shot. All those whose lives were at risk and wanted to receive the vaccine are now protected, the PM said.

Referring to the results of the latest national survey on the reopening, the prime minister said that Hungarians have decided that schools must be reopened first; this is why the government is reopening nursery schools and primary schools up to the fourth grade on April 19. Parents can speak with their headmasters if they don’t want their children to go back to school, he added.

Commenting on the anti-vaccination narrative of Hungarian opposition parties, something that PM Orbán called "a major downer," the prime minister said that while the ongoing political debates in Western Europe are about finding the best ways to help people, in Hungary, leftist parties only focus on harming the government. “The Left’s legislative proposal about avoiding the use of Eastern vaccines is still on the Parliament’s table,” PM Orbán observed.

On the economic front, Prime Minister Orbán announced that the government will allocate some HUF 5 trillion (EUR 13.9 billion) in 2021 and 2022 for relaunching the Hungarian economy. “There are going to be more jobs after the pandemic than there were before it,” he said.