A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus, first identified in the United Kingdom late last year, was detected in three patients in Hungary on Tuesday, the chief medical officer said.
Cecília Müller on Wednesday told a press conference of the operative body responsible for handling the epidemic that the new variant was registered in surrounding countries earlier and therefore had been expected to appear in Hungary too.
The new variant is 50-70 percent more infectious than the “original” virus, Müller said. However, several vaccine producers have said that their products were effective against it, she added.
Müller also called on health-care staff to get inoculated “so that we can move on along the vaccination list”.
Vaccines are being administered continuously, with the process only being slowed down by the shipment of new doses, she said.
Hungary used up its entire stock of Covid-19 vaccines by Tuesday evening, inoculating a total of 86,929 people, Müller said. Vaccine recipients will begin receiving their second doses on Jan. 18, she added.
Meanwhile, Müller said that only 3 percent of those who have died from the disease were free of any underlying illnesses.
In response to a question, the chief medical officer stressed that those who have been vaccinated are still required to wear face masks and observe social distancing.
Featured photo illustration by MTI/NNK