The government will make decisions concerning the next steps in easing coronavirus-related restrictions in Hungary once vaccinations reach 3 million, the prime minister’s chief of staff told an online press briefing on Thursday, adding that this was likely to happen within 5-6 days.
Gergely Gulyás noted that over 1.5 million people had received at least the first of their shots during the past month, adding that Hungary was “one of the fastest vaccinating countries” in Europe.
Asked about the view that the lifting of restrictions should be tied to the number of people who are fully inoculated, Gulyás said vaccine recipients already develop some level of immunity after receiving the first shot. Though two shots are required for an even higher degree of immunity, those who get at least one shot are significantly less likely to get infected, he said. The government’s position that the first shot is the most important is based on expert opinions, the minister said, adding that there was “no rush” to lift restrictions.
The number of Hungarians inoculated with at least the first jab is expected to exceed 4 million before the end of April, Gulyás said.
So far 3.95 million people have registered to be vaccinated, while another 200,000 health-care staff have been inoculated without registration, which means that over 50 percent of Hungary’s 8 million adults have already been vaccinated or soon will have been, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Asked about when Hungary would be finished vaccinating everyone who has registered for the jab, Gulyas said it was difficult to say, given that the number of registrations was continuously rising. Soon everyone who is registered will be inoculated, he said, adding that hopefully many more people would register.
Gulyas said everyone who has registered for the vaccine and has a valid social security number could be inoculated by the end of May. He added that hopefully the country could return to normal in late May or early June.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI