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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday said a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Hungary was inevitable and urged the public to get vaccinated.

“The booster shot is akin to a life insurance policy,” the prime minister said in a regular interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Radio, adding that he will receive his third jab over the weekend.

“The fourth wave of the pandemic will soon have Hungary surrounded, certainly from the east,” Orbán said, noting that while 59 percent of Hungarians were vaccinated against Covid, Romania’s vaccination rate was just 29 percent.

He urged the public to consider wearing face masks again, adding, however that it alone did not guarantee protection against infection.

Gov’t Reluctant to Reintroduce Mask Mandate Despite Recommendations from Experts
Gov’t Reluctant to Reintroduce Mask Mandate Despite Recommendations from Experts

"The vaccine saves lives, and only the vaccine saves lives. Wearing masks and social distancing won’t help," PM Viktor Orbán said in a recent interview.Continue reading

Orbán said the vaccines worked, as less than one percent of those inoculated were falling ill with Covid. He urged people to get vaccinated, warning that the Delta variant of the virus was far more aggressive than the previous variants.

Over the summer Hungary made the necessary preparations to manage a serious wave of the pandemic in the autumn without bringing back lockdowns, the prime minister said, adding that the country had enough vaccines, hospital beds, ventilators, medicine, nurses and doctors to tackle the coming wave. He noted, however, that the fourth wave was not yet as strong in Hungary as in many other countries.

Hungary has a good chance to develop its own coronavirus vaccine in its own vaccine plant, Orbán said. But because this is not yet certain, Hungary must make sure that it orders enough vaccines developed elsewhere while making the necessary preparations to produce its own jabs, he said in connection with the recent announcement that Hungary’s national vaccine plant could receive the technology from Russia to produce the Sputnik coronavirus vaccine as early as this year.

Hungary to Receive Tech to Produce Russia's Sputnik Vaccine
Hungary to Receive Tech to Produce Russia's Sputnik Vaccine

Hungary has an economic interest in manufacturing a vaccine "high in demand worldwide," Foreign Minister Szijjártó said.Continue reading

Featured photo by Zoltán Fischer/PM’s Press Office/MTI