Foreigners, repatriated citizens, and permanent residents in Hungary who do not have a Hungarian health (TAJ) card will also be allowed to register for vaccination starting May 1, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás announced during Thursday’s government press conference.
Hungary’s vaccination program has slowly been opening up to different demographics in phases since the end of December. It has been the standard so far that only people enrolled in the Hungarian Public Health Insurance System (TAJ) could access Hungary’s vaccination program.
Opportunities for vaccination seem to have branched out completely since Gergely Gulyás’ recent announcement that such insurance will not be required to register for the coronavirus vaccine.
The decision was likely influenced by the large number of Covid vaccine doses that have been arriving to Hungary since Saturday. The vaccination program is also looking promising, with 3,870,222 people having received their first jab, and 1,822,655 people being inoculated with both jabs.
This opportunity will definitely benefit those in Hungary who may not yet have a TAJ card due to having recently immigrated. It could also be tied to the equally fresh decision of allowing foreign diplomats and embassy employees to be vaccinated in Hungary.
Similarly to the situation of diplomats, foreign citizens in Hungary may worry that vaccination with Sinopharm or Sputnik V will hinder their mobility in the European Union. The European Parliament recently voted not to require member states to automatically accept non-EMA approved vaccines in its upcoming “vaccine passport” system. So it is likely that they would prefer to choose Western vaccines, to ensure that they can travel free in the EU.
Featured photo illustration via Facebook/Budapest Airport