Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said Hungary would be “much worse off” and “significantly more people would die” had the government not purchased vaccines from the East.
According to MTI, the minister said that one percent of those inoculated with at least the first shot had contracted coronavirus but their symptoms were “significantly milder”. In the case of those fully inoculated, the figures were “even better”, he said. Even though full protection is only achieved after the second shot, already one dose significantly reduces the risk of infection, Gulyás said. This is the reason why vaccination certificates are being issued after the first jab, he said. The “rights” certificate holders will be entitled to exercise will be determined in the coming week and announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Regarding the Hungarian research into the vaccines accredited in the country, Gulyás said the results will be published at a later date. At the moment, Sputnik V seems to be the most effective of all, and “Sinopharm seems better than Pfizer”, he said. At the same time, all vaccines are extremely effective, he said. Vaccine producers currently guarantee six months of protection for those inoculated. Therefore, it is possible that some will need booster shots in September, he said.
Gulyás warned that “anti-vaccination campaigns shaking the trust in vaccines” may cost lives. The average age of those dying after contracting Covid remains above 70 in Hungary, while some 20 percent of the fatalities is suffered by 50-65-year-olds, he said. There is currently one child with Covid-19 on ventilator, he said.
Regarding the reopening of borders for Hungarians with family members in neighboring countries, Gulyás noted that the inoculation rate across the borders lags behind that of Hungary. One of first steps in reopening the borders, however, will be to allow people to see their families, he said. In the coming days, PM Orbán will announce steps for the next stage of reopening the country, scheduled for when the number of those vaccinated reaches 4 million, he said.