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Hungarian Companies to Set Up Vaccination Points to Inoculate Employees

Márton Jász 2021.04.27.

Numerous large companies in Hungary, such as Mercedes-Benz, MOL Group, Audi, Suzuki, and Tungsram have announced that they would set up vaccination points in order to vaccinate their employees with jabs available from the government.

Even though none of the companies are making the vaccination compulsory for their employees, they emphasize that the health benefits of the jabs significantly outweigh the risks, and therefore encourage everyone to take advantage of the situation.

Mercedes-Benz production stopped, using this time to vaccinate  

Due to the lack of parts caused by supplier difficulties, production stopped again at the Mercedes factory in Kecskemét; therefore, the company is using this time to vaccinate its employees and prepare for the series production of its new model.

According to the information of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft., there are currently worldwide difficulties in the supply of parts for certain semiconductor components. For this reason, the Kecskemét plant has planned to modify its production program by the 17th calendar week (which lasts until May 2nd).

In a statement sent to state news agency MTI on Monday, the company reported that they set up several vaccination points at the factory so a significant number of workers can receive vaccinations against the coronavirus if they so choose.

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MOL Group offers Sinopharm vaccines

Apart from Mercedes, MOL Group is also offering Sinopharm vaccines to all its staff members. According to the announcment on Monday, this can executed based on the decision of the national vaccination working group, which has already initiated their participation in the distribution.

In addition to critical infrastructure operators, all employees already have the opportunity to receive the vaccine voluntarily. And MOL’s occupational health partners will help with the administration of both doses.

Employees can apply for the vaccine through a registration interface until April 28th. The company will help those apply who are working at filling stations or at MOL subsidiaries where the electronic interface is not available.

“Of course, vaccinations are not mandatory, but like medical experts, we recommend that as many people as possible take advantage of this opportunity. This is how we can best protect our loved ones, families, colleagues, and ourselves,” 

the company wrote to staff.

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Audi Hungaria volunteered to become vaccination point in March, still awaiting permission

The creation of vaccination points in order to vaccinate staff was already a topic at Audi in mid-March. In the harshest week of the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic in March, the topic was unavoidable and journalists also asked. Dr. Erzsébet Knáb, the company’s director of human resources, who said at that time:

“Since the second wave, 900 workers from the team of 12,200 have fallen ill, most of them – according to accurate contact research – turned out to have caught the virus not in the factory, but during friendly social events and family reunions.”

Audi Hungaria’s human resources director announced in mid-March that they initiated the idea of vaccination points in order to vaccinate their staff members. “Our health management worked out everything so we could vaccinate our 12,000 employees in two weeks if vaccines were available. If and when available, we will start vaccination immediately (within 24 hours), and we consider this to be the only solution in this situation.”

Suzuki commences inoculation this week 

Hungarian Suzuki employees will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at the company as well. Vaccination will begin this week with vaccines provided by the Hungarian government, in line with employees’ work schedules.

Hungarian Suzuki is a committed supporter of the fight against the virus, the company said, adding that there are regular internal briefings on the possibilities and importance of protection, hygiene rules, and proper mask-wearing.

“Our company has paid great attention to prevention from the very beginning. In order to protect the health of our employees and their family members and to maintain the continuity of production, we introduced several precautions at our plant in Esztergom last year,”

explained Zsuzsanna Bonnár-Csonka. The communications manager of Magyar Suzuki added that the establishment of a vaccination point is the next step in this process. Vaccination is, of course, voluntary.

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Tungsram creates vaccination points in five factories

In order to protect the health of its employees, each of their five factories have been offered as a vaccination point by the Hungarian-based technology service provider, Tungsram Group.

The company, which employs 3,600 people, operates five factories in Hungary: in Budapest (where the company is also headquartered), in Hajdúböszörmény, Kisvárda, Nagykanizsa, and Zalaegerszeg. The company’s management recently made a request to the government departments responsible for the operation of sites so that the factories can become vaccination points.

They are still waiting for a positive response for four factories, but the Hajdú-Bihar County Government Office has indicated that the company can help the national vaccination campaign by making the 336-person Hajdúböszörmény factory a vaccination point, said President and CEO, Joerg Bauer.

“We considered the health of Tungsram employees to be a priority before the pandemic as well, however, since last year we have made extra efforts in both healthcare and providing information,” 

Bauer stated.

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He also added that the company is very pleased that it can use its own resources to contribute to the efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic and increase vaccination alongside healthcare workers and the government.

Negotiations on the feasibility and implementation are only just beginning, but the conditions include that only staff registered in the national system can be vaccinated at the site and that only the vaccinating doctor can perform the necessary administration.

Featured photo by Sándor Ujvári/MTI