Yesterday, the flu vaccine was made available free of charge to everyone from their GP. To promote vaccination, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also posted a video on Facebook where he can be seen getting a flu shot. Meanwhile, some are worried that due to the high demand many will be left without free vaccines.
Authorities have been putting increased emphasis on convincing people to get flu shots this year. The main reason is that an additional great number of influenza-infected patients could seriously overburden the healthcare system. The flu shot is also important to doctors because it can help them factor out the flu when making a diagnosis. Also, the risk of death is doubled if someone suffers from COVID and the flu at the same time.
As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe at a rapid pace, it is extremely important especially for at-risk groups such as the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions, and those that recently had an operation as well as healthcare workers and social care home employees and residents to get vaccinated.
This is why the government decided that not only at-risk groups but everyone will receive the vaccine in Hungary for free this year.
Government buys the full stock of quadrivalent flu vaccine
Additionally, the government just purchased the full stock of one type of vaccine available in Hungary. Until recently, GPs have been using another type made in Hungary. The new stock is a quadrivalent flu vaccine which means it is effective against four variants of the virus (instead of three) and has slightly fewer side effects. According to experts, authorities wanted to guarantee that this type of flu shot would be available to all children and at-risk groups and won’t disappear from the pharmacy shelves due to sky-high demand.
In the meantime, many fear the approximately 1.3 million vaccines that were more than sufficient in past years won’t be enough this time.
As many as two and a half, to three times more people were interested in getting the flu vaccine last week as at the peak of last season, leftist news site Népszava reported in a recent article. This would also mean that despite the initial promises, vaccines won’t be free for everyone in Hungary.
PM Orbán Promotes Flu Shot
In a video posted on social media, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can be seen getting a flu shot. He also encourages everyone who can to follow suit.
Featured photo via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page