Immunity certificates for those who have already had the infection or have been vaccinated are now being issued. Apparently there are minor disruptions in the system, while the benefits of the document are yet to be clearly determined.
The documents are being posted automatically and free of charge for those who have been vaccinated or had been confirmed positive for coronavirus. For the former group, the document has no expiration date, as, the government argues the time of protection of the different vaccines provided is unknown. (Strangely enough, the government decided to provide the vaccine certificate after the first jab instead of the second, although full inoculation is needed for protection against the coronavirus.) For the latter, it expires after six months.
A third group, persons who recovered from Covid-19 based on antigen test results from a certified laboratory, can also apply for one but they will be charged a fee for the document. In their case, the certificate is valid for four months.
According to the document sample presented by various outlets, it is only valid with an ID card or passport.
The QR code on the document leads to the National Health Infrastructure (EESZT); however, it apparently has some synchronization problems at the moment. In reference to the case of one of their readers, Telex writes that after scanning the paper, EESZT’s site paradoxically claims that the cardholder doesn’t have a certificate.
Meanwhile, authorities have yet to decide on the benefits of having the immunity certificate.
In addition, the type of vaccine is not indicated on the document either, a question that is still to be cleared in the EU, as there is a possibility at this point that certain countries, or the EU as a whole, wouldn’t accept some of the vaccines. This last question has meaningful relevance in Hungary, as people are already receiving vaccines not yet authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Asked about the government changing its mind and deciding to remove the information on the vaccine used from the certificate, PMO Head Gergely Gulyás said on Thursday that they decided to remove it “because this information is not needed.”
In response to a question on the topic, the Gulyás earlier claimed that countries must accept one another’s certificates based on reciprocity, and that if they do not, “then on the basis of reciprocity Hungary will not accept the certificates of countries which do not accept those of Hungary.” There are still contradictory statements circulating in the EU, however. Meanwhile on Tuesday it was reported that the EU was willing to accept not EMA-authorized jabs too. In latest news, Euronews wrote that the block’s Green Pass of freedom movement would only be valid with EMA-approved vaccines, of which currently there are four: Pfizer/BioTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and the recently approved Johnson & Johnson.
featured image illustration via Balázs Mohai/MTI