Mass vaccination in Hungary started at the end of December with the inoculation of healthcare workers. Unfortunately, according to the reports of several doctors and even the Hungarian Medical Chamber, it faces quite a few difficulties including major technical problems. In addition to these, it seems with some luck and finagling, many people- even those who do not directly work with Covid patients or in some cases are not even healthcare workers themselves- can easily get vaccinated.
In an article, liberal news site 444.hu reported that due to Hungary’s lack of vaccination priority order among healthcare professionals, it is often those who do not even work with coronavirus patients who are the ones vaccinated before those working on the front line. Furthermore, it seems there are many who are not even healthcare workers but have managed to receive the coronavirus vaccine by cheating the system.
One of the readers of the news site, a clinical psychologist, managed to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination point in Budapest without prior registration or scheduled appointment.
Another source also working in healthcare but not in patient care, told 444.hu that there are vaccination points where people only need to show up and they will get the shot without a hassle.
The problem has also been confirmed by Tamás Svéd, the secretary of the Hungarian Medical Chamber. In his official summary on the situation of Hungary’s vaccination process, he writes that according to their information in the first days of the vaccination campaign, a mother who was at home with her newborn baby, a retired professor who has not been working since the beginning of the epidemic, and several administrative staff have been vaccinated.
However, there are more serious cases. The article reports several stories where non-healthcare workers have managed to finagle a vaccination.
The article cites a man who falsely pretended to be a healthcare worker and received the vaccine without any hindrance. This trick then worked for several members of his family as well.
There was even an instance of a jurist cheating the official registration process and getting the vaccine. A woman in her thirties also got vaccinated through her relatives working in a hospital, even though her occupation has nothing to do with the healthcare profession.
However, the article notes that it is possible that the “flexibility” shown at some of the vaccination points might be the result of a deliberate decision. Because many people don’t show up at the scheduled time and the vaccines can only be used for a rather limited amount of time, to prevent them from going to waste, people who do show up at the vaccination point get inoculated, regardless.
Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI