At-risk groups should accept booster jabs of the coronavirus vaccine to fend off new variants of the disease, the chief medical officer said on Tuesday.
Booster jabs will be available from August 1 for those who have received their second vaccine at least 4 months prior, Cecília Müller said. Elderly citizens and those battling chronic illness or have a weakened immune system are especially encouraged to register for a booster jab, she said.
Meanwhile, Hungary remains one of the European countries closest to herd immunity, with 5.6 million people having received the first and 5.3 million both doses, she said.
Müller said the booster jab should be different from the original vaccine. Thus, those who received two doses of a vector vaccine earlier should now get an inactivated vaccine or one based on mRNA technology, to achieve a stronger immune response, she said.
At the same time,
GPs and doctors will have the last decision on the individual jabs, she said.
Registration for the booster jab will open in the coming days at the www.eeszt.gov.hu website, she said.
The number of new coronavirus cases in Hungary has grown by 20 percent in recent weeks, Müller said.
Trace amounts of the virus detected in wastewater, an indicator of the pandemic’s course in the coming weeks, have grown in Budapest and the cities of Pécs, Miskolc, Szekszárd and Salgótarján, she said.
While case numbers are as yet low, the growth is obvious and is clearly driven by the delta variant of the virus, originally detected in India, Müller said. The variant is expected to cause 80-90 percent of new infections, she added.