Photo: MTI

Over 4.1 million register for vaccination

Fidesz calls on opposition to withdraw ‘anti-vax’ bill

The ruling Fidesz part on Tuesday called on opposition parties to withdraw their "anti-vaccination resolution proposal". Fidesz spokesman Robert Zsigo said in a video statement that the proposal was signed by 50 lawmakers, including Democratic Coalition (DK) leader Ferenc Gyurcsany, Jobbik leader Peter Jakab, Parbeszed co-leader Timea Szabo and DK's Gergely Arato.

The draft resolution, he said, demanded that people over the age of 60 should not be vaccinated with Eastern vaccines, and these should be approved by Brussels before being used in Hungary.

Zsigo insisted that if it were up to the opposition, then three million vaccines would not have been administered in Hungary so far.

The Fidesz official branded the opposition proposal as “irresponsible”. “We can only beat the virus with vaccines,” he added.

Over 4.1 million register for vaccination

So far, 4.11 million Hungarians have registered for coronavirus vaccinations, and 64 percent of them have received at least their first jab, the state secretary heading the central team in charge of the vaccination programme said on Tuesday.

Istvan Gyorgy welcomed the steady rise in the number of registrations. Fully 1.5 million registered were older than 65, and 1.4 million people overall have fully inoculated, he said.

Patients in the highest risk groups have also received their shots, and most GPs are under way vaccinating active age adults, he added. Some 2.13 million people in the 18-59 age group have registered, and over 800,000 have been inoculated, he said, adding that each registered person would get a shot “within weeks”.

Fully 178,000 teachers were given preferential shots in two rounds, representing 80 percent of the profession, Gyorgy said, adding shots would be administered to a further 30,000 teachers.

Cecilia Muller, the chief medical officer, underlined that the third wave of the pandemic had reached its plateau, with “some indicators showing a slight decrease”, but warned that the virus was becoming more infectious and “the danger is not expected to have receded in the near future”.

She noted that the Janssen vaccine had arrived in Hungary this morning, so that now there are six types of vaccine available in the country.

Muller encouraged people to register in order to avoid crowds from being formed at vaccination points.

Union: 87 percent of teachers object to April 19 return to classroom

Fully 87 percent of teachers would prefer not to return to the classroom on April 19, while 54 percent said they would obey the instruction to do so, according to teacher union PSZ, citing a fresh survey by 21 Kutatokozpont.

The survey indicates that only 7 percent of respondents agree with the decision to reopen primary schools and kindergartens on April 19.

Zsuzsa Szabo, the union’s head, at an online press briefing on Tuesday thanked health-care staff for sacrificing their free time at Easter and last weekend to vaccinate teachers, adding that PSZ believes that a hasty return to the classroom would be dangerous for everyone involved.

At the same time, she welcomed the postponement of the opening of secondary schools to May 10. Szabo added that the results of their survey had been passed on to education managers, and hopefully this may have an influence on changing the decision.

LMP calls on government to keep schools shut

The opposition LMP has called on the government to keep primary schools and kindergartens closed, given the persistent high number of coronavirus infections.

Mate Kanasz-Nagy, the party’s co-leader, told an online press briefing on Tuesday that schools should only be opened once teachers are fully protected by both doses of the vaccine.

If the government sticks to its plan of opening primary schools and kindergartens on April 19, parents should be given the option of keeping their children at home, he said.

Kanasz-Nagy argued that schools could easily become infection hotspots, adding that children, teachers and other staff should be tested for the virus several times a week.

Referring to the government’s decision to open secondary schools on May 10, the LMP politician said that it would also make sense to open primary schools and kindergartens at a later date.

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