Photo: MTI

Vaccine registration opens for foreign residents, ethnic kin

Chief medical officer: Inoculation of teenagers to start

The inoculation of registered 16-18 year olds will get under way after May 10, while foreigners living in Hungary will be eligible to register from Tuesday, the chief medical officer has said. Meanwhile, Pfizer-BioNTech has applied to the European Medicines Agency for its vaccine to be accredited for 12-15 year olds, Cecilia Muller told a press conference of the operative board responsible for handling the epidemic. As soon as the procedure is completed, Hungary will also expand the scope of the eligible demographics, she said.

Nearly 340,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are due to arrive in Hungary on Tuesday, Muller said, adding that they will be used to reschedule the second jab of teachers supervising the school-leaving exams in high schools, which started this morning.

The one-dose Janssen vaccines will be used on vaccination buses bound for remote localities, she said.

Those wishing to receive their second AstraZeneca jab before the originally designated three-month deadline can request it where they received the first dose, she said.

Thanks to the protection efforts and vaccination, Hungarian pandemic numbers are improving steadily, Muller said. Meanwhile, the trace amounts of the virus in waste water, an indicator of the pandemic’s course over the next period, has slightly grown in the cities of Budapest, Debrecen and Szolnok and edged down in Eger, Pecs, Szekesfehervar, Tatabanya and other cities, she said.

Registration opens for foreign residents, ethnic kin

Foreigners living in Hungary, Hungarians living abroad and ethnic Hungarians from other countries can also register for vaccination against Covid-19, starting on Tuesday, the government’s information centre said.

People in those groups can register at, the centre said.

It added that vaccination would start in the second half of May with foreign residents in Hungary, with Hungarian nationals living in other countries to follow.

Official: Hungary saved many lives thanks to Eastern vaccines

Hungary saved many lives and “gained a month and a half” in vaccinations thanks to the Russian and Chinese Covid-19 jabs, a foreign ministry official said on Monday. Tamas Menczer, the state secretary for communications and international representation, said in a Facebook video that without the Eastern vaccines, the number of vaccinated Hungarians would not have reached four million by last Friday, only in mid-June.

Restrictions would have remained in force for a month and a half longer and the gradual relaunch of the economy, including the reopening of pubs and restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gyms, would have been delayed accordingly, he added.

“Had we listened to the anti-vaxxer voices on the left, there would be much fewer vaccinated, protected people and we would have lost a month and a half,” he added.

Menczer said vaccines save lives and “lead us back to our normal lives”. He called on everyone not to believe the anti-vaxxers.

Szlavik projects five million vaccinated within weeks

The number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus could reach five million within a few weeks, the leading infectologist of Budapest’s South Pest Central Hospital said on Monday.

Janos Szlavik told news channel M1 that six or seven million vaccinated will be necessary to achieve herd immunity in the country.

“The aim is to have as many people vaccinated as possible,” he said. “I believe Hungary is making good progress and I trust that the demand for vaccination will not slow down in the next few weeks,” he added.

Despite the favourable vaccination figures, there are still many elderly people who have not signed up for a shot, he said.

Commenting on the Indian variant of the virus, he said the variant was dangerous because it was spreading faster than others, adding, however, that vaccines offer protection against it “to a certain extent”.

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