Photo: MTI

Reports of problems with Sinopharm jab 'fake news'

Infectologist: Hard to say when third wave will peak

It is difficult to predict when the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic will peak and when case numbers will start to go down, Janos Szlavik, a senior infectologist of the South-Pest Central Hospital, told public media.

The number of new infections this time is rising at a significantly faster rate than during either of the previous two waves, Szlavik said, noting that the number of hospitalised patients was also considerably higher during the current wave.

The infectologist said this indicated that the third wave of the pandemic would be more severe than the first two had been.

Most people getting infected are contracting the British variant of the virus, which can cause complications even for young people, Szlavik said. He said it was not uncommon for young people without an underlying condition to be hospitalised with the virus, and urged the public to continue to observe the regulations issued in response to the pandemic.

At the same time, Szlavik hailed the rising vaccination rate among the elderly.

He said that with over 300 million people having received a Covid vaccine worldwide, there were bound to be reports of serious side-effects. He added, however, that none of the vaccines being used in Hungary had caused side-effects that would require a suspension of the vaccination campaign.

Szlavik said Hungary needed a few more weeks to reach 2-3 million vaccinations, which he said could already have an effect on the trajectory of the pandemic. Achieving herd immunity, however, will require a vaccination rate of 60-70 percent, he added.

Government official: Reports of problems with Sinopharm jab ‘fake news’

Foreign ministry state secretary Tamas Menczer on Saturday dismissed reports of “problems” experienced with China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine in the United Arab Emirates as “fake news”, saying the story was “the latest leftist and international political attack against the Chinese vaccine”.

In a Facebook post, Menczer cited unconfirmed reports of health authorities in the UAE administering a third dose of the Sinopharm jab to eight people after it was discovered that the two doses they had received had not generated enough antibodies.

He said there would always be vaccine recipients who do not develop a strong enough immune response to the jab they receive. “It has been roughly the same amount in the case of the Chinese vaccine as in those of the so-called Western vaccines,” the state secretary said.

“All they’re doing in the UAE now is giving these people another vaccine dose,” Menczer added.

He said some 6 million people in the country had been administered Sinopharm, adding that the jab had so far been shown to be 100 percent effective in preventing serious Covid-19 cases in Abu Dhabi, the capital.

“That’s a higher effectiveness rate when it comes to severe cases that what we’ve seen from Pfizer in Israel,” he said.

“In other words, there haven’t been any problems with the Chinese vaccine,” Menczer said. “The Chinese vaccine is saving lives in both the UAE and Hungary.”

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