Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary has entered the "decisive phase of the battle" against Covid-19, adding that the country will receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine on December 26.
Speaking after a meeting of the operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the epidemic, PM Orbán said on Facebook that doctors, nurses and hospital staff working in intensive care units will be the first to be vaccinated. This first round of vaccinations will be followed by a mass vaccination program later on, he said, adding however, that the exact date when the program could begin was not yet known.
The prime minister said that the decision on the vaccine to be used in the program will depend on the vaccine approval process handled by the European Union and the Hungarian authorities. Hungary is in talks on procuring vaccines from the United States, Europe, Russia, China and Israel, he said, adding that talks were also ongoing on vaccines that have yet to be approved.
PM Orbán also said the government was preparing to issue an immunization verification form to those that either receive the Covid-19 vaccine or have recovered from the disease. He said this was consistent with an EU plan for the introduction of digital passports.