The government will launch a campaign to encourage residents to get inoculated against Covid-19, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told his weekly online press conference on Thursday.
Gergely Gulyás stressed that vaccination was provided on a voluntary basis, but urged that as many people as possible should register.
Gulyas insisted that over 500,000 people a day could be inoculated if there was a sufficient supply of the vaccine. “It means that we could complete vaccination in two weeks if we had enough doses,” he said.
The minister added that all government members, including the prime minister, would get inoculated “in due course”. He said that the population was being vaccinated in a “clear order”, with health-care staff, the elderly in care homes, and then people older than 60 and with chronic illnesses receiving the shots.
Gulyas called it “irresponsible” that “several leftist politicians” were waging an “anti-vaccination campaign”.
So far, 129,860 vaccine doses have arrived from the EU, and 91,600 people have received their shots, while the government has reserved 19.7 million doses via EU channels, Gulyás said. He added that Britain, Israel and China had been “more successful” in producing or obtaining the vaccine than the EU.
Concerning the Covid-19 situation in Hungary, Gulyás said that the pandemic was being reined in, but warned that it could pick up again if restrictions were not observed. Restrictions could only be reduced if the number of active infections is “significantly” lower or vaccination of the population is as high as to guarantee that the most vulnerable can no longer be infected, he said.
Gulyás said that the government had reported demographic changes accurately: some 90,000 more people died in 2020 than a year earlier, “they were the ones that lost their lives to coronavirus”.
In another development, Gulyás said that Hungary was one of the “best performing” countries of Europe in terms of job protection. He argued that 4,000 more people were employed in December than in the same month of 2019, which proved the government’s economic measures.
Some 2.6 million families have used an opportunity to suspend their debt service, which represents a loan portfolio of a combined 3,600 billion forints (EUR 10bn). At the same time, 48 percent of Hungary’s firms have used a similar moratorium, representing a portfolio of 4,300 billion forints. He also noted that in sectors most impacted by the coronavirus crisis the government had volunteered to pay for two thirds of wages and wage-related costs, helping 69 percent of employees in catering and hotels, sports and entertainment.