Chief epidemiologist calls for swift mass vaccination

Hungary's chief epidemiologist has called for vaccination points to be set up once vaccines against Covid-19 become widely available with a view to getting the public vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Speaking to public news broadcaster M1, Janos Szlavik of the Budapest South Pest Hospital said it was “good news” that preliminary tests of the Covid vaccines in development have shown them to be over 90 percent effective. This means that vaccinating 50-60 percent of the public should be enough to avert a bigger epidemic, he said.

Szlavik encouraged the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19 so as to avoid complications from the disease.

The newly developed vaccines do not appear to have long-term side effects, he said, adding that the vaccine was expected to be safe regardless of where it is developed.

He noted that Hungary as a member of the European Union has procured doses of 4-5 types of vaccines, smaller samples of which are set to be delivered to the country as early as next month.

The chief epidemiologist said health experts around the world agree that the first ones to be vaccinated against Covid should be the sick, the elderly and essential workers like health-care staff, teachers and police officers.

Warning that daily cases and fatalities may continue to rise in the coming period, Szlavik expressed hope that the epidemic could peak by Christmas.

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