Photo: MTI

Events of the past few days amount to the government's Waterloo, Gyurcsany says

400,000 more to be vaccinated by Wednesday

Another 400,000 people will have been vaccinated against coronavirus in Hungary by Wednesday, placing the country in first place in Europe, Gergely Gulyas, the prime minister's chief of staff, told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio. Meanwhile Ferenc Gyurcsany said that the government's incompetence was preventing people from getting jab.

Gulyas said that by May, Hungary would be able to vaccinate 3.5 million more people than those countries that have relied solely on vaccines procured by the European Union.

He said minor logistical hiccups were inevitable in such a massive operation as the current vaccine campaign, but Hungary was now in second place in the EU’s vaccination ranking and aimed to be in first place.

The chief of staff denied press reports that the vaccination campaign had got derailed, saying it would be hard not to qualify a programme in which 400,000 people were now in the process of receiving the jab as a mass campaign.

He said people arriving at GP surgeries and hospital vaccination points would receive the Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in the coming days, while AstraZeneca jabs would be available in the second half the week.

Gulyas slammed the left-wing opposition, insisting it hoped for the worst in order to gain political advantage. He further accused the left of being anti-vaxxers for this reason.

He said the Hungarian authorities had tested and approved the vaccines in circulation in Hungary, adding that tens of millions of people around the world had received the same types of jab which afforded the same degree of protection here.

Gulyas insisted that the Chinese vaccine was “one of the best vaccines, perhaps the one that provides the best protection against new strains”.

Meanwhile, on the topic of the ruling Fidesz’s party’s exit of the European People’s Party, he said tiny parties from Benelux and Scandinavia had pursued an intolerant policy against Fidesz, which, he added, insisted on sticking to traditional Christian values while rejecting migration and promoting the family.

Fidesz representatives, he added, had always represented Hungarian interests in Brussels.

Gulyas said no one in the left-wing European press doubted that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was among Europe’s most influential politicians. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s departure in September, Orbán will have served as head of government longer than anyone else, he added.

Among Europe’s conservative and right-wing parties he noted the Italian dominant party as “the strongest” as well as the senior ruling party in Poland. “Allies can be found among them,” he added.

Gyurcsany: Government incompetence preventing people from getting jab

People are being prevented from receiving their coronavirus jabs due to the government’s “faffing”, the leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition said in a video on Sunday.

Ferenc Gyurcsany on Facebook criticised the government for “failing to manage vaccination of 74,000 people over a single weekend”, even though they had “pledged to inoculate even as many as hundreds of thousands”. He insisted that “events of the past few days amounted to the government’s Waterloo”.

Gyurcsany also accused the government of failing to draw down the whole amount of the Moderna vaccine due to Hungary from European Union purchases, “allowing the French, Germans, and Danes to take it”.

“I could obviously use stronger words,” Gyurcsany said, adding that “what has happened is a shared disgrace; but we are not all to blame: Viktor Orbán’s government is to blame, though we will all pay the price”.

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