The opposition Socialists called on the government to make PCR testing free of charge to recipients of eastern vaccines who want to travel abroad, MEP István Ujhelyi said on Thursday.
Hungarians vaccinated with Russian and Chinese jabs are forced to produce negative PCR test results before crossing borders because eastern vaccines are not automatically recognised within the European Union in the new system of EU immunity certificates introduced on July 1, Ujhelyi said.
The problem affects some 2 million Hungarians who will be expected to pay for expensive PCR tests in order to be able to travel abroad for holiday, study or work, he added.
The EU has allocated 100 million euros support for cheap or free tests to member states, he said.
The Socialists want to find out when the Hungarian government plans to use this opportunity.
In another development, the opposition Párbeszéd party called on the government to make antigen tests free of charge to recipients of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
In an online press conference, co-leader Tímea Szabó asked for the government to provide a third booster jab to those that have not developed antibody and T-cell immunity against the virus.
Citing a municipal survey of 450 volunteers conducted two to three weeks after the second jab, Szabó said that a quarter of over-60 recipients and nearly half of over-80 recipients are defenceless against the virus.
In Hungary, one million people have been inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine at least once, and nearly 950,000 twice, too, she said, adding that half a million of them are over 60.
Opposition DK also demanded on Thursday that government should offer free anti-body tests and “EU-approved” vaccination to all that want it.
DK parliamentary spokesman Zoltán Varga told an online press conference that several tests had been carried out showing that many recipients of the Sinopharm vaccine failed to develop immunity.
He cited an article by online news website portfolio.hu showing that a comprehensive and complex testing scheme at the company Videoton revealed that a considerable part of over-60 people inoculated with Sinopharm had neither antibody nor T-cell immunity against the virus. Referring to the delta variant that is spreading in western Europe at high speed, he urged for testing without delay and offering EU-approved vaccines to people.
Featured photo illustration by MTI/EPA/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi