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There is one week to go until the deadline for taking the coronavirus vaccination within state organizations, where inoculation was made compulsory. The vaccination rate of law enforcement, disaster management workers, and firefighters, however, forecast problems in these fields.

  • law enforcement: 28% unvaccinated

According to the president of Employees of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Law-Enforcement (BRDSZ), out of the 36,000 police workers in total, at least some 10,000 have yet to be vaccinated. The ratio is a lot better among law enforcement’s administrative workers where some 2,000 workers haven’t received their jab yet among the 15,000-strong staff.

An even worse tendency was reported from the other fields. According to Firefighters’ Independent Trade Union’s (HTFSZ):

  • disaster management: 30% are unvaccinated
  • firefighters: 40% are unvaccinated

The unions also claim that due to difficulties of earning a living in general without being vaccinated, the rate will definitely go up in the near future; still, it will be impossible to make up for those falling out of the system due to their refusal to get inoculated.

In a point of friction, unions also note that workers haven’t been able to clarify with the interior ministry, for example, whether the ruling applies to those whose jobs don’t involve direct contact with clients.

As we previously reported, those working in fields and businesses subject to compulsory vaccination must be vaccinated by December 15 or they will be put on unpaid leave and may be laid off after one year.

Proposals for alternative solutions could be fielded until the end of November, and the Interior Minister would decide before January 31st. While interest groups have called for more flexibility, the ministry seems to be reluctant to even consider allowing a deferral for those who can “present an antibody test proving immunity to the virus.”

Local Teachers to Protest Against Compulsory Vaccination
Local Teachers to Protest Against Compulsory Vaccination

They believe the introduction of compulsory vaccination will cause severe problems in the teaching system. The two major teachers' unions have also been invited to the demonstration.Continue reading

The unions also criticize the government for failing to clarify a number of issues surrounding unpaid leave, such as health contributions, whether a return to the previous post would be guaranteed, or whether they can take on another job while on unpaid leave.

featured image illustration via Noémi Bruzák/MTI