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Reopening in Three Weeks Unlikely if Vaccination Rate Doesn’t Increase

Ábrahám Vass 2021.03.19.

Although new coronavirus cases and deaths hit record highs each day, the Prime Minister spoke about the possibility of reopening the country in his regular Friday morning interview. Viktor Orbán said Covid-related restrictions could be eased when the number of vaccinated Hungarians reaches 2.5 million. Based on this, we have taken a look at the current numbers and the pace of vaccination to find out when Hungary can reopen. 

At the moment, 1,447,554 people received their first jab in Hungary, and 444,451 the second. The government considers those vaccinated who have been given the first shot; therefore, more than one million first jabs still need to be administered to reach the aforementioned goal of 2.5 million.

According to unofficial coronavirus information site pandemia.hu which only uses the official daily numbers, even though in the last month there have been six examples when more than 60,000 first jabs were administered in one day (the record being 114,081 thousand jabs but that might be due to administrative factors), the number of first jabs still rarely exceeds 50,000 per day.

Perhaps it would be more telling if the daily average was counted on a weekly basis:

  • last 7 days: 22,020 first jabs/day
  • between March 7-13: 44,573 first jabs/day
  • between March 1-7: 42,307 first jabs/day
  • between February 23 and March 1: 32,593 first jabs/day.

From another point of view: the last one million first jabs were administered in 26 days.

Of course the vaccination campaign’s success depends on many other factors: vaccine availability, willingness and acceptance of vaccinations. Also, soon the second jabs would have to be administered in large numbers (for those who have already been vaccinated with the first one), meaning that this could slow down the administering of first jabs.

Although Orbán spoke of a weekly time period in connection with the prolonging of the current restrictions in effect (the most strict ones since the outbreak), with the current pace of the vaccination campaign, a reopening is unlikely to happen earlier than three weeks from now, if the government remains faithful to these statements.

featured image illustration via Tamás Kovács/MTI

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