The prime minister’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyás, said on today’s government info that they would approve the vaccination of 5-11-year-olds once it is approved by either the Hungarian or European drug regulator. He added that Hungary has more than 3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in stock in addition to 1 million doses of the Moderna and Janssen jabs, and more than 2 million doses of Sinopharm, he said, adding that the Pfizer vaccine accounted for about two-thirds of all Covid jabs being administered at present.
Gulyás said the National Public Health Centre (NNK) had carried out a study on the efficacy of the Sputnik jab at the request of Russia. He said the government had ordered the same for all vaccines. Asked about the possible need to administer a fourth jab, Gulyás said the question needed to be studied by medical professionals, but Hungary had enough vaccines in stock if more inoculations became necessary. He said some people may require a fourth jab and there was no rule against administering one.
Asked about the potential epidemiological risks posed by Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier at Budapest’s Puskás Aréna, Gulyás said there was minimal risk involved for any spectator who had received three vaccine doses, but he would “not talk anyone out of wearing a mask”.
As regards European politics, Gulyás said Hungary welcomed European People’s Party group leader Manfred Weber “joining the chorus of those emphasising the importance of border protection”. “It appears he is in favour of Poland’s border protection efforts, not just from a political, but also from a financial point of view,” he added. Gulyás insisted that
the EPP had ceased to be a “major political force” in western Europe.
The conservative grouping’s policies of the last ten years, Gulyás said, had led to there being no EPP member party in power to the west of Austria.
Meanwhile, he said remarks from the three parties working to form Germany’s next governing coalition indicated that they intended to “encourage all forms of migration”, which he said could also impact Brussels’s migration policy.
Asked about a statement by Lajos Kosa concerning the Pegasus spyware, and whether his statement fell foul of official secrets rules, Gulyás said it was up to the
authorities to decide whether the statement amounted to a criminal offence.
He added that no state gave information on the technology or technical means used to collect information in the secret domain. The issue, he said, had turned into a political football because the left wing and Hungarian left-wing journalists had made it into one. Gulyas insisted that no illegal secret information gathering had taken place in Hungary since 2010. The way in which secret information is handled is strictly regulated, he said.
On the subject of climate change, Gulyás said Hungary was among the few countries that had kept to its emission reduction targets, and this would have been impossible without nuclear energy. He said the issue within the EU was controversial, but Hungary was not the sole operator of nuclear energy in the bloc. Ten member states, led by France, have turned to EU institutions with the aim of recognising nuclear energy as climate friendly, he said.