Although the vaccination of healthcare workers started at the very end of December, it seems that not many people in Hungary want to be inoculated. According to some experts, if the pace of the vaccinations does not start to accelerate, Hungary will have to deal with a third wave of the coronavirus as soon as March.
If the immunization is not carried out by the end of March, a third coronavirus wave in Hungary will be certain, virologist Miklós Rusvai told RTL News on Saturday. That is why vaccinating as many people against COVID-19 as possible is the most important task right now.
According to Rusvai, once the lockdown restrictions are eased, the spread of the virus will immediately shift pace, and if the new variant of the virus found in the UK reaches Hungary it will spread even faster. The virologist thinks that we have to prepare that this will happen soon.
Despite the warnings of experts, a recently conducted poll shows that most people in Hungary do not want to get inoculated, either because they are afraid of the side effects of the vaccine or because they have doubts about its effectiveness.
Official data suggest that so far, almost 600 thousand people in Hungary have registered to be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, this figure (6%) falls far short of the 60% vaccination threshold required to reach herd immunity.
Furthermore, there are many people even among Hungarian healthcare workers who don’t want to get vaccinated.
In an interview with Inforádió, Ágnes Daróczy-Gaál, vice-president of the Trade Union of Hungarian Doctors, revealed that even though those who have worked with Covid patients in the past or those still working in Covid hospital wards are all pro-vaccination, there are many professionals who don’t trust the jabs that use the new mRNS technology.
She emphasized that healthcare workers should all set an example by getting the coronavirus vaccine administered.
She added that if people had to pay for their intensive ward treatment out of their own pockets, which could cost up to tens of millions of forints, then not many of them would protest against the vaccination.
In reaction, Gyula Kincses, the president of the Hungarian Medical Chamber criticized the idea on Facebook. „I am totally pro-vaccination… But as a doctor and Chamber president, I find this idea inconceivable and incompatible with the social security based on the principle of solidarity,” he wrote.
Orbán gov’t: vaccination voluntary
It is hard to tell what the Hungarian government wants to do to increase people’s willingness to get a Covid jab. Many public figures have already started campaigning for the vaccination. Gergely Gulyás, the Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has even said several times that people who are vaccinated might be treated differently in some cases from those who aren’t, and there would certainly be some regulations that differentiate between them, but he never really specified what he meant.
Meanwhile, the government has continuously been stating that the vaccination process would be free of charge and voluntary for everyone.
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI