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Last week, the government began issuing coronavirus immunity certificates. The system, however, raises a number of questions, as apparently it has several weak points, while the benefits and scope of validity of the certificates are still awaiting clarification.

As we previously reported, the documents are being posted automatically and free of charge for those who have been vaccinated or had been confirmed positive for coronavirus. For the former group, the document does not contain the type of vaccine administered and has no expiration date, as the government argues that the range of protection of the different vaccines provided is unknown. The government decided to provide the vaccine certificate after the first jab instead of the second, although full inoculation is probably needed for comprehensive protection. For the latter, it expires after six months. A third group, persons who recovered from Covid-19 based on a posterior (antigen) test, can also apply for one, but will be charged for the document. In their case, the certificate is valid for four months.

Although the initial synchronization problems with the National Health Infrastructure (EESZT) now seem to be solved, several people report minor or major problems after picking up their plastic card. It is unclear, for example, on what basis the date of expiration is calculated in some cases. A family of five, all of them having been infected at the same time, received the documents with four different expiration dates. Someone even received two certificates (one for having been infected and one for the vaccination).

Independent MP Ákos Hadházy also demonstrates a case where the card was issued to a minor who hadn’t been vaccinated, or presented symptoms, or had a positive test result. 

The certificate. Via Ákos Hadházy’s Facebook page

And in a rather shocking example, a certificate was issued to a patient 17 days after he had died of Covid in a hospital.

The difference between being “officially” immune and in reality is also something that has been brought up lately. A Telex reader who had gone through the infection in October, received the document accordingly. A recent, voluntarily-taken test she had done, however, detected no antigens in her body- meaning she is probably no longer immune to the coronavirus. In another example, after having been infected in November, a man tested positive once again for coronavirus last week. Three days after his positive PCR test, he could still pick up his document, meaning he is probably still infected, while according to official records he is immune.

Although the documents are being delivered now at full speed, authorities have yet to decide on its benefits and allowances too. The Government Information Center (KTK) said (and it was later repeated by the PMO head himself) that the reopening plan would be made public after the national consultation closed on Thursday night. People would decide on the rights the certificate would provide,” KTK stated. 

featured image illustration via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI