The data table published by the Orbán government about the number of infections and deaths after secondary inoculations with the vaccine types currently available in Hungary, proved to be extremely controversial. While the government thinks it clearly shows Eastern vaccines are better than the western ones, opposition politicians believe they only want to manipulate the public.
“Here, as proof,” Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, wrote in a Facebook post in which he shared a new chart published by the government aimed to prove that Eastern Covid vaccines available in Hungary (Sinopharm, Sputnik V) are just as effective or even better than the western ones.
The table shows that among people inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, the number of new infections and deaths is much higher than among recipients of other vaccines.
However, the chart is rather incomplete, missing much information and data so much so that even biochemist Katalin Karikó, one of the developers of the Pfizer vaccine, called it “misleading.”
As a result, several opposition politicians slammed the government for the release of the „incomplete and manipulative” information.
“I will file a criminal complaint against the government for scaremongering,” Independent MP Bernadett Szél announced on Facebook.
The government has adjusted the data on vaccine effectiveness to the level of propaganda, which is likely to hinder the effectiveness of the defense or even render it impossible”
According to the politician, showing the effectiveness of each type of vaccine with scientific backing would be important, but the government has deducted and published from a completely misleading table the conclusion that more people became ill and twice as many died after being vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than with Sinopharm. However, due to the lack of basic information, the table is completely unsuitable for comparison between vaccines.
As the government claims backed by misleading data can undermine confidence in Western vaccines, Szél decided to immediately file a complaint against the government for scaremongering.
Independent MP Ákos Hadházy thinks the table published by the government contradicts everything we know from public clinical trials so far. Also, they are in stark contrast to the figures published in Serbia not long ago where the Chinese vaccine was found to be the least effective.
“The most anti-vaccination activity is lying and secrecy,” Hadházy noted.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) also called on the government to drop its vaccination campaign, suggesting that “untested” Eastern vaccines are better than Western ones.
Zoltán Varga, DK’s parliamentary spokesman, thinks the government was trying to undermine people’s trust in Western vaccines and said that “the government would even falsify statistics and lie to justify its vaccine purchasing practices.”
Meanwhile, liberal Momentum MEP Anna Donáth slammed the pro-government media because they are trying to slander the Pfizer vaccine.
“The government’s propaganda machine uses the distorted table to slam the Pfizer-Biontech Comirnaty vaccine, acquired with the help of the EU and developed by the Hungarian researcher Katalin Karikó,” Anna Donáth wrote. They do this while a large amount of it still comes to the country, and our common interest would be for everyone to accept every vaccine, Donáth noted.
According to Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, the government not only put itself in an awkward position with its manipulative, false, professionally unacceptable table, but further destroyed public trust as well. But people’s willingness to vaccinate depends primarily on the degree of this trust, he said.
Karácsony believes the government is unfortunately no longer able to speak directly and fairly to the citizens of Hungary, only in the voice of false propaganda in fear of lack of votes.
They do all this out of a cold, political calculation, out of a compulsion to conform to eastern friends, often forgetting the responsibility towards the citizens of this country”
In the featured photo: Independent MP Bernadett Szél. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI