The Hungarian government will extend the validity of coronavirus immunity certificates for those who have received two vaccine doses until May 1, in line with the practice adopted by European Union countries.
Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, said neither Brussels, nor any EU member state have tightened rules on immunity certificates due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the government does not want to put Hungarian citizens at a disadvantage compared to their EU peers. Earlier, the government had planned, from February 15, to limit the validity of immunity certificates in Hungary to people who had their second Covid jab no more than six months earlier or had their booster jab.
Meanwhile, citing virologists, Gulyás said the fifth wave of the pandemic had reached its peak in Hungary, and case numbers were expected to decrease at the same rate that they had peaked. Though the spread of the virus has been significantly faster in the fifth wave, neither the number of hospitalisations, nor the death toll has been anywhere near as high as during the previous waves, he said. Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi said Hungary would participate in the joint EU procurement of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid for treatment of Covid.
Asked about coronavirus vaccines, Gulyás called it “harmful” that EU authorities, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), had not authorised either Russia’s Sputnik V, which he said had been shown to offer “the best possible protection”, or China’s Sinopharm which has been approved by the WHO. “Until they do so, we cannot speak of full equality,” he said.
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