Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, said that although they show minor differences, all coronavirus vaccines distributed in Hungary are safe, and the government calls on all Hungarians to register and accept a vaccine.
According to MTI, the minister said that of the nearly 3.7 million fully vaccinated Hungarians, over 8,100 have contracted Covid-19, and 524 of them have died. So far, 54 percent of Hungarians have been inoculated, bringing the country to the cusp of herd immunity. Including those who have gained immunity by recovering from the disease, immunity in the country may be as high as 65-70 percent. Hungary currently has a surplus of all vaccines, and those registering now will be able to get any of the jabs within a short time. Meanwhile, the third wave seems to have subsided, and infection numbers are nearing those seen last summer, he said.
In regards to immunity certificates, Gulyás said the digital version of the Hungarian document will meet all European Union regulations on digital Covid-19 certificates by June 15. The digital version of the Hungarian certificate, in line with EU regulations, will show the type of vaccine administered and the dates of the jabs, he added. He said Hungary’s immunity certificate currently provided the widest freedom in Europe because agreements have been made with 11 countries about its recognition. EU countries are mandated to accept all vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and are at liberty to decide to accept others, Gulyás said. Hungary has concluded agreements with several (non-EU) countries to accept all vaccines used in Hungary, including the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use by the WHO, and Russia’s Sputnik V jab, Gulyás said. “Hungary expects near-total freedom of travel within the EU, unless infection rates and low inoculation numbers in other countries raise cause for concern.”
Gulyás said immunity certificates will remain mandatory to enjoy certain services for a period depending on the level of coronavirus infection in Hungary. Commenting on a proposal that the improving pandemic figures could be the grounds to lift the state of special legal order during the summer, he said “we will maintain the state of special legal order only until necessary”. He added that the same applied to the mandatory use of masks and other protective measures, which he said would only stay in force until necessary.
The minister added that Hungary will use part of its surplus vaccine stock to inoculate Transcarpathia Hungarians, who are the only Hungarian community across the borders without access to the vaccine.