Photo: MTI

Spas open to visitors with vaccination certificates

Hungary has enough vaccine for everyone who asks for it

Hungary is the first country in Europe where enough vaccine is available for everyone who asks for it, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday. "This is a great achievement, and it would not have been possible without Pfizer's supplies," Szijjarto said after talks with Pfizer's Hungarian director.

Hungary has signed up for 10.8 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, and the 20th shipment of 334,000 doses is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, he said. As a result, Hungary will have received a total of 2.8 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, the largest amount of vaccine received from any vaccine manufacturer, he added.

Szijjarto said that thanks to these supplies and “the fact that Hungary does not consider vaccine procurement to be an ideological issue”, having purchased vaccines from both “the Eastern and the Western points of the compass”, the country is the first where the vaccine market of is turning from supply-driven to demand-driven, he said.

It is also planned that Pfizer will play a big role in the vaccination of young people, Szijjarto said.

He noted that he had paid a visit to the company’s Hungarian office as a sign of respect and to thank its employees. Since December 26, 2020, they have all been working extremely hard to ensure the supply of large amounts of vaccines to Hungary, he added.

Sufficient reserves are now being accumulated in order to be able to inoculate people aged between 16 and 18, and the vaccination of under 16s could follow depending on the advice of medical experts, he said.

Spas open to visitors with vaccination certificates

Spas and baths in Hungary are now receiving visitors in possession of a vaccination certificate, the chief medical officer said on Tuesday. The spread of the virus is unlikely in such an environment, Cecilia Muller said.

The public health authority and the Hungarian Spa Association have set up a list of requirements to ensure the safety of patrons, Muller said.

Besides technological, security, environmental and health-care requirements for reopening, the document also contains regulations on disinfection and cleaning, staffing, as well as on the chemical balance of the pool water, Muller said.

Guests are asked to stay away if they experience fever or any sickness, and to use the showers before entering the pools. They should also keep distance from each other “as far as that is possible”, Muller said.

Govt official: Eastern jabs saved Hungarian economy ‘vast amounts of money’

Hungary’s use of the Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines saved the country’s economy “vast amounts of money”, a foreign ministry official said on Tuesday. Tamas Menczer, the state secretary for communications and international representation, said in a Facebook video that the Hungarian economy had lost 10-15 billions of forints (EUR 28-42m) per day during the lockdown.

Without access to the Sputnik V and Sinopharm jabs it would have taken the country a month and a half longer to reach 4 million vaccinations, Menczer said. That amount of time lost would have cost the economy more than 550 billion forints, he said. However, most of this money has been saved thanks to the Eastern vaccines, he added.

“In other words, not only did the decision to purchase the Russian and Chinese vaccines save lives and help reopen the country, it also benefitted the economy,” Menczer said. “The more of us get the vaccine, the sooner we’ll be getting our old lives back.”

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