The Hungarian government will extend the validity of COVID vaccination certificates for people who have already received two doses of vaccination until May 1st, head of the Prime Minister’s office, Gergely Gulyás, said at his weekly press conference. He said that currently this is the practice in EU countries. The announcement was unexpected, since it has been emphasized several times until today that the second vaccination will be valid for only 180 days to further increase the vaccination coverage rate and protect against new epidemic waves. Also, the related government decree was published in the government gazette Magyar Közlöny only a week ago.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
“Neither Brussels nor EU member states have tightened existing travel regulations due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the government does not want Hungarians to be subjected to stricter rules than other EU citizens,” said Gergely Gulyás, justifying the government’s latest decision, according to which it revoked a regulation announced only three weeks ago. Previously, the government had decided that the immunity cards would be valid only with a third vaccination from February 15th; this decision has now been changed.
Meanwhile, citing virologists, he said that the fifth wave of the pandemic has peaked (or was about to peak) in Hungary and the number of cases is expected to decline as it reaches its peak. According to Gulyás, it will happen much faster than it did in the previous waves.
Although the virus is spreading much faster in the fifth wave, neither the number of hospitalizations nor the number of deaths is even close to that of previous waves,”
Regarding the issue of Eastern vaccines, he reiterated that he believes the European Union does not recognize them because of its own commercial interests.
Government buys COVID medication
Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi announced that the coronavirus drug “Paxlovid” will be purchased from Pfizer in a quantity equivalent to 50,000 treatments. However, this number can be increased later.
Source: Press conference on the Facebook page of the Government of Hungary
Featured image via Noémi Bruzák/MTI