For weeks, it has been a question whether foreigners living in Hungary are entitled to vaccination, and if so, under what conditions. Many complained about the lack of information, so we asked the government at the regular weekly press briefing.
There have been quite a few comments about foreigners struggling to get vaccinated in Hungary. So far, official statements have only concerned the vaccination of diplomats. Diplomats from the countries from which Hungary received vaccines, such as Chinese, Russian, and British diplomats, were first vaccinated in early April. Vaccination of embassy staff began in mid-April.
Regarding the lack of information, we reported about an American citizen who has been teaching university classes in Budapest for 14 years. Officially, he is a guest lecturer whose work is paid for by an American non-profit foundation, costing the institution practically zero.
However, that also meant that since he is technically not employed by the university, his job did not allow him to get registered in the Hungarian social security system and thus obtain a TAJ (social security) number. And this was the tricky part: while the government announced that those with expired TAJ numbers are also eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, there was no word on the rights of those who have never had one.
According to today’s press briefing, from May 1, foreigners living permanently in Hungary can also register for vaccination without a social security number (TAJ card) because their protection is also needed, the minister said in response to the question.
Meanwhile, he added that Hungary wanted to finish vaccinating its own citizens before helping other countries, adding that ethnic Hungarians living beyond the border were “first in line” when it came to receiving help.