Weekly newsletter

Rector of Semmelweis University Vaccinates with Astonishing Speed

Júlia Tar 2021.11.04.

Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University, has been vaccinating people since December 26th and says that he has now vaccinated more than 21,000 patients.

When talking about the fourth wave of the pandemic, and being asked if he is still counting the number of vaccines he gives, Merkely said “not exactly, but I’m over 21,000.” Because of this statement, 444 asked Semmelweis University if this is really the case.

“Dr. Béla Merkely, the clinical rector of Semmelweis University, has administered an average of 70 vaccinations a day since December 26. He is still vaccinating almost every day and working on average, 14-18 hours a day, seven days a week. There have been weekends when he administered more than a thousand vaccinations,” Semmelweis University confirmed.

According to 444, since December 26th, calculating 21,000 vaccinations, he vaccinated one person every 21 minutes. And on those weekends the university mentions, if you count 48 hours without sleep, he had to give a vaccine every three minutes. Meanwhile, he is also running the university, working as a cardiologist, performing surgeries, regularly speaking to the media, working as a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s advisory board, and he attended the Olympic Games in July.

Several Hungarian Universities Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory for Students
Several Hungarian Universities Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory for Students

"It is unacceptable and contradictory to the vows of the first-year students to put their vulnerable fellow human beings at risk by not doing all in their power to protect themselves and their environment," Semmelweis University wrote in a statement.Continue reading

This is not the first time the Rector has shared with the public how many vaccinations he has given. 444 reported that he has slowed down somewhat in recent months, which is not surprising of course, given that fewer people are coming forward for vaccines. On May 14th he said he was at 15,000, and on August 21st he was at 20,000. That means that the average time was 13 minutes in the beginning and 17 minutes in later months.

Featured image: Béla Merkely vaccinating in 2020. Photo by Márton Mónus/MTI