Hungary has enough vaccines for everyone who applied for Covid-19 shot, PM Orban says

Budapest has stockpiled enough Covid-19 vaccines for everyone who has applied to receive the shot, PM Viktor Orban said, as the country prepares to reopen most public services and venues to those vaccinated.

Hungary is entering a new stage in the fight against the coronavirus, Orban said on Friday as he spoke to Kossuth radio.

“In the past, we defended ourselves by closing, thereby slowing the spread of the virus. But now we are on the attack,” he said. “The vaccine is like a bulletproof vest, the virus bounces off of it.”

As of late Thursday, over 3.91 million people had already been vaccinated, Orban said. The country is expected to meet its 40% inoculation rate goal on Friday. Reaching the milestone will trigger the long-anticipated reopening of Hungary’s public services and most venues.

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Over the weekend, hotels, theaters and cinemas, restaurants and bars with indoor seating, and other venues will open their doors across the nation for people with ‘immunity certificates’. The certificates are issued to those who have been vaccinated or have contracted the coronavirus and have successfully recovered. While certificates for the latter are only valid for six months, certificates for those who have been vaccinated do not expire.

The vaccination drive is expected to go ahead uninterrupted, as the country has stockpiled enough vaccines for everyone who has applied, Orban said.

“There are so many vaccines in Hungary that they are enough for everyone who applied to be vaccinated. It is now up to people to get the shot.”

Hungary enjoys one of the highest vaccination rates in the EU and has also imported the highest number of doses per capita among member states. The country has approved multiple vaccines from around the world without waiting for the EU regulators, importing China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.

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Hungary has suffered the highest daily per capita Covid-related deaths in the world in recent weeks. The effects of the vaccination drive, however, have apparently begun to show, as the situation improved in late April.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hungary has registered more than 776,000 coronavirus cases, with roughly 7% of the country’s population of around 10 million being infected. Over 27,000 people have succumbed to the disease across the country.

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