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Vaccination of health-care workers begins

Hungary began inoculating its health-care workers against Covid-19 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The first vaccine was administered by Janos Szlavik, head of the National Institute of Hematology and Infectology at Budapest’s South Pest Central Hospital.

The first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, which arrived in Hungary early on Saturday, contains 9,750 doses, enough to inoculate 4,875 health-care workers, the government’s coronavirus press centre has said.

Speaking to public media, Szlavik said Hungary was set to receive larger quantities of the vaccine in later shipments, emphasising the importance of this first batch when it comes to protecting health-care workers against the virus.

He said numerous studies had affirmed the safety of the vaccine, adding, at the same time, that it may come with the same side effects experienced after other shots like pain at the point of injection, a slight temperature the day after receiving the vaccine or muscle aches.

The health authorities will need to be most cautious in the cases of vaccine recipients who in the past have suffered a severe allergic reaction or shock after consuming certain foods or beverages, he added.

Adrienne Kertesz, head of the Department of Infection Control at South Pest Central Hospital, who was among the first to receive the vaccine, told public news broadcaster M1 that she had waited a long time to get the shot, adding that her ability to continue working safely depended on it.

Human Resources Minister Miklos Kasler also welcomed the arrival of the vaccine.

“Though we still have to wait to begin mass vaccinations, today we took a significant step in terms of curbing the epidemic,” Kasler said on Facebook.

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