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Gov’t to Make Decision Soon on Possible Introduction of 4th Vaccine Dose

Péter Cseresnyés 2022.01.12.

Although a growing number of Hungarian experts have been suggesting it over the past few weeks, the Hungarian government seemed reluctant to consider authorizing a fourth shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. But now the head of Hungary’s vaccination working group revealed that authorities are already considering the necessity of the second booster shot.

István György, State Secretary and head of the national vaccination working group, told journalists on Tuesday that the government’s coronavirus operative board had already been looking into the issue of a fourth vaccination in detail.

Heated Debate Surrounds 4th Vaccine Dose in Hungary
Heated Debate Surrounds 4th Vaccine Dose in Hungary

Although some Hungarian experts warn that a second booster shot may be necessary due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant, the government is hoping that the third jab against the new mutant will be sufficient.Continue reading

The committee tasked with coordinating the response to the epidemic is currently analyzing international circumstances and will soon decide whether a second booster is needed, György said.

At this point, there is no scientific consensus on fourth Covid-19 shots, and similar to most European countries, social debate surrounds the fourth shot in Hungary as well.

However, the question of a fourth vaccine is particularly important because Hungary was the first country in Europe to authorize the administration of a third dose in early August. Therefore, those who were among the first to take it (especially doctors, the elderly, those immunocompromised) might need their second booster shot as early as February.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, only a few weeks ago commented that he was hopeful the third vaccine dose would prove sufficient enough, otherwise people would soon get tired of constantly getting vaccinated with additional jabs.

Meanwhile, more and more Hungarian experts think it should get the green light, while Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler said in an interview on Sunday that a fourth vaccine dose should definitely be considered.

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The number of patients needing hospital care could reach 8-9,000 at the peak of the fifth wave, Kásler forecasted, adding that the healthcare system "can cope with more than this."Continue reading

Featured photo illustration by Tibor Rosta/MTI