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There was no flu epidemic in Hungary last year, but epidemiologists expect a strong one for 2021. As was the case during last year’s emergency situation, the flu vaccine will be provided free of charge to everyone this year, the ministry announced.

The government has been producing 1.3 million doses of flu vaccine in Hungary every year for 24 years, and making them available at GPs free of charge to people at risk. However, there is no information that they have ordered a larger quantity than usual, since last year the state ran out of stock very early, leftist daily Népszava writes.

In addition to the 1.3 million doses provided by the state, Vaxigrip Tetra, a vaccine from Sanofi-Aventis Zrt. will also be available. The manufacturer will supply pharmacies with around 200,000 doses. This is a 60 percent increase compared to last year.

There was no flu epidemic in Hungary last year, but it could be strong now.

Epidemiological mathematicians predict that there will be 50 percent more influenza-like illnesses than usual this season,”

Lajos Ócsai, former head of the epidemiological department of the National Public Health Center of Hungary (ÁNTSZ) told 24.hu.

He mentioned the use of masks as one of the reasons, the lack of epidemiological measures to prevent respiratory droplet infection, and the fact that the body’s natural infection process skipped a year.

Hungary's Health Experts: Maintain Social Distancing, Wear a Face Mask
Hungary's Health Experts: Maintain Social Distancing, Wear a Face Mask

Not just individual specialists, but even health institutions are joining in reaffirming that not only vaccination, but masks and social distancing are in fact important for protecting people’s health.Continue reading

At the same time, almost twice as many (6,688 new cases of the coronavirus) were identified over the weekend than in the same period a week earlier. According to health experts, getting infected with the coronavirus and influenza at the same time poses a high risk for one’s health.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Kovács/MTI