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Professors, virologists, and virus researchers around Hungary continue to emphasize it; all vaccines authorized in Hungary are effective.

Chief infectologist of the South Pest Hospital Centre, virologist János Szlávik sat down with Hungary Today at the beginning of the year to discuss vaccination and the race against the coronavirus.

Chief Infectologist: Herd Immunity Needed

Szlávik stated then that Hungary could reach full inoculation by early Autumn, and advocated for the equal distribution of the Chinese Sinopharm, the Russian Sputnik V, the British Oxford-AstraZeneca, the America/German Pfizer-BioNTech, and the American Moderna vaccines.

“With Mass Vaccination, Coronavirus Can No Longer Win” – Interview with Chief Infectologist János Szlávik
“With Mass Vaccination, Coronavirus Can No Longer Win” – Interview with Chief Infectologist János Szlávik

“Just get whichever vaccine is available. The virus can no longer win.” –  We sat down to discuss the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in Hungary, vaccination in general, and the race against the virus’s evolution, with South Pest Hospital Centre’s chief infectologist, János Szlávik. Let us jump a couple of months forward in time. It’s […]Continue reading

Of course, none of Hungary’s vaccines are the same. When asked about their main differences, Szlávik said that while they differ in type, the varying effectiveness of vaccines is their most notable factor. He said that efficacy rates range from an 80 to a 95 percent chance of protection, with none of them having particularly strong side effects.

It is crucial to understand that although you might get a little sick, it is nearly impossible to develop severe symptoms if you are vaccinated, regardless of the type of vaccine. You will almost certainly not have to be hospitalized.”

Szlávik also brought up the element of the common good, that more people vaccinated means fewer people in hospitals, reducing the burden on Hungary’s healthcare system.

The virologist has stood by his position firmly, emphasizing that people need to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order for things to get back to normal. On April 10, Szlávik told public media that Hungary could achieve herd immunity by the summer, with around 60-80 percent of the population vaccinated.

Senior Infectologist: Hungary Has Chance to Achieve Herd Immunity by Summer
Senior Infectologist: Hungary Has Chance to Achieve Herd Immunity by Summer

If vaccinations against Covid-19 continue at the rate that is required in Hungary and if enough people register for the jab, the country could achieve herd immunity by the summer, János Szlávik, a senior infectologist of the South-Pest Central Hospital, told public media on Saturday. This, Szlávik said, would require 60-80 percent of the population […]Continue reading

At the time, 2.5 million people had received their first jab of a vaccine. Now Hungary’s single-dose vaccination rate has reached almost 3.7 million people, with more than 1.7 million receiving both jabs. That is roughly 37 and 17 percent of Hungary’s population respectively.

Danger of Mutations to be Overcome with Vaccinations

Miklós Rusvai is a popular virus researcher and professor who, like Szlávik, advocates for as many Hungarians to get vaccinated as possible. He even supports the reopening of terraces and thinks it would be a good idea to connect such things with immunity status, so that sporting events and pubs would be safer, and vaccination willingness would grow.

Rusvai has also defended Sinopharm’s vaccine, which has faced some controversy around Hungary and around the world. When it came into circulation in February, Rusvai stated that the Chinese vaccine using inactivated virus technology could prove beneficial against virus mutations.

Hungary Prepares for Ten-Day Sinopharm Vaccination Campaign
Hungary Prepares for Ten-Day Sinopharm Vaccination Campaign

Hungary is initiating a ten-day mass vaccination program next week, as one million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine will be arriving. A letter from the National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK) and another from state secretary and leader of Hungary’s vaccination workforce István György was sent to general practitioners, informing them of the massive undertaking. […]Continue reading

While most other vaccines are estimated to lose 5-8 percent of their efficacy for select mutations, Sinopharm’s vaccine contains parts of the virus’ proteins, and according to Rusvai, this gives it a higher likelihood of maintaining its efficacy regardless of mutations.

“We Cannot Forget That There Is Still a Pandemic”

A virologist and Professor at the University of Pécs, Ferenc Jakab emphasized at the Miérted magazine’s online Facebook event that the vaccine is essential, but that it does not provide immediate immunity, and people should continue to be careful.

We cannot forget that there is still a pandemic in Hungary. The curve of the pandemic is waning, but it would be silly to reverse it with ignorance to current rules.”

Jakab also defended the AstraZeneca vaccine when it faced controversy after a few instances of fatal blood clots were reported following its use. Jakab backed the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) statement that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its risks.

Hungarian Experts Encourage Everyone to Get Vaccinated ASAP
Hungarian Experts Encourage Everyone to Get Vaccinated ASAP

Despite the shrinking number of Hungarians who are hesitant to get vaccinated against Covid-19, general skepticism still surrounds the Russian and Chinese vaccines. Meanwhile, Hungarian experts are trying to dispel fear and convince people to get inoculated because every authorized type of vaccine helps to prevent serious illness and death, and mass vaccination would be […]Continue reading

Posting to Facebook, the virologist stated that the the vaccine’s benefits increase the older and more vulnerable an individual is and that a conclusion by Europe’s healthcare professionals certified the continued inoculation of the vaccine.

Minimal Chance of Infection Following Vaccination

Gábor Kemenesi, adjunct professor at the University of Pécs, known around Hungary for his knowledge of the virus, emphasized at the same online event that every vaccine works.

We are not joking when we say that every vaccine is very good. There are a multitude of factors arguing that one is better than the other. The main takeaway is that all the vaccines are good.”

When asked about how many people fall ill after getting vaccinated, Kemenesi brought up that with 87 million vaccinations, the United States found that out of one million people vaccinated, 20 catch the virus and 5 are hospitalized.

The professor also said that people must remain careful even if they are vaccinated, remembering that they could still infect other people without noticing.

Only Mass Vaccination Can Halt Spread of Covid, 'Plague of Our Time,' says Former Science Academy President Vizi
Only Mass Vaccination Can Halt Spread of Covid, 'Plague of Our Time,' says Former Science Academy President Vizi

Former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences E. Sylvester Vizi has said in an inspiring statement aired in public Kossuth Radio that this virus is the plague of our time. Pharmacologist, physician, and neuroscientist, Professor E. Sylvester Vizi, who is also chair of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Hungary Foundation which […]Continue reading

It is unlikely that the political element of the vaccination debate will end, but one thing is for certain: Hungary’s health professionals want Hungarians to get vaccinated.

It is not mandatory to accept a vaccine which is offered, but when making their decision, Hungarians should remember that the vaccines are on our side, the virus is not.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI