Hungary has entered the “decisive phase of the battle” against Covid-19, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Wednesday, adding that the country will receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine in three days.
Speaking after a meeting of the operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the epidemic, Orbán said on Facebook that doctors, nurses and hospital staff working in intensive care units will be the first to be vaccinated.
This first round of vaccinations will be followed by a mass vaccination programme later on, he said, adding however, that the exact date when the programme could begin was not yet known. The decision on the vaccine to be used in the programme will depend on the vaccine approval process handled by the European Union and the Hungarian authorities, the prime minister said.
Hungary is in talks on procuring vaccines from the United States, Europe, Russia, China and Israel, he said, adding that talks were also ongoing on vaccines that have yet to be approved.
Orbán emphasised that vaccination will be voluntary and available free of charge and asked those that want to be vaccinated to register.
He said the operative board also took a look at the digital version of an immunisation verification form prepared by the interior ministry. Orbán said the government was preparing to issue such a form to those that either receive the Covid-19 vaccine or have recovered from the disease. He said this was consistent with an EU plan for the introduction of digital passports.
The prime minister urged the public to continue to comply with restrictions until mass vaccinations begin.
“If we band together and look after each other then we can curb the spread of the virus like we’ve already done once before,” Orbán said.
featured photo via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page