Muller: Hungarian jab to be based on inactivated virus technology

Government announces rules to apply after 4 million inoculated

The government has published a list of new rules to enter force when the number of Hungarians inoculated against Covid-19 reaches 4 million. The statement published on the government website shows that the night-time curfew will start at midnight and shops will be allowed to stay open until 11pm.

People holding vaccination certificates will be allowed to use indoor areas of catering establishments until 11pm, as well as hotels where they can be accompanied by children.

Venues offering leisure activities that were shut in November will reopen to vaccination certificate holders, including zoos, wildlife parks, museums, theatres, cinemas and libraries.

Gyms, swimming pools and skating rinks will also reopen to certificate holders and to all professional sportspeople aged under 18.

Sports events can be visited by certificate holders and accompanied minors until 11pm and they will not be expected to wear face masks.

Venue operators will check the validity of visitors’ vaccination certificates; failing to do so they can face fines ranging between 100,000 forints (EUR 280) and 1 million forints or up to one year in prison.

The obligation to wear masks will remain in force in public areas, on public transport and in shops.

In catering establishments and other venues, staff not holding vaccination certificates will be expected to wear masks.

The statement said that further measures for relaunching the country will be announced as the vaccination drive progresses.

Muller: Hungarian jab to be based on inactivated virus technology

Hungary will apply a tried and tested inactivated virus technology in the development of its coronavirus vaccine, Cecilia Muller, the chief medical officer, said on Monday.

The technology, on which China’s Sinopharm jab is also based, is able to provoke a strong immune response against the virus, Muller said, expressing hope that the Sinopharm vaccine will therefore be also effective against the virus’s variants.

The 600,000 doses of the Sinopharm jab that were delivered to Hungary on Saturday have been reviewed and distributed to the vaccination points, she said, adding that they will also be sent out to general practitioners soon.

The chief medical officer also said Hungary had reached a vaccination rate of 37 percent, compared with the European Union average of 21 percent.

The number of active infections has dropped to 258,218 and average concentrations of the virus in Hungary’s wastewater systems appear to be declining, she said.

Meanwhile, Muller said the Indian variant of the virus had yet to be detected in Hungary.

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