Anna Erdei, a Széchenyi Prize-winning immunologist, states that Hungary will not be free of all restrictions this summer either. Masks and special hygiene practices will be present in everyday life until the end of the year at least.

In an interview given to Népszava, Anna Erdei, professor of the Department of Immunology at Eötvös Loránd University, claimed that Hungarians cannot heave a sigh of relief just yet. Although more than ready to bid farewell to the coronavirus regulations, Hungarian people may be compelled to modify their summer plans this year as well. Erdei estimates that

about 85-90% of the population needs to be protected from the virus in order to achieve herd immunity.

Such a high percentage is necessitated by the ever-evolving virus, the proliferation of variations. Antigen rapid tests prove to be largely accurate, but the production of antibodies, the desired immune response to the vaccines, should be tested and further researched under laboratory conditions. It has been discovered that the reaction to the infection and vaccination differs in the case of each individual. Whether vaccination provides long-term immunity is uncertain, but the immune system appears to “remember” the virus even if the antibody level decreases. Erdei also talked about the development of a spray that could prevent the spread of coronavirus in the upper respiratory tracts and thus protect the lungs from the disease.

The race with the virus is likely to continue throughout the summer, too. The most ideal scenario would be if everyone received the vaccine as soon as possible and re-opening could begin; yet, there are factors slowing down the process. One of them is the fact that people with certain health conditions cannot be inoculated; furthermore, the vaccination of younger generations will start in May, and children (about 20% of the population) will receive the first jab only in the autumn. It is important to note that the development of immunity also takes time. Erdei deduces that people will not be able to move about completely freely this summer, and

they cannot get rid of masks until the end of the year.

Washing hands multiple times and social distancing must also remain parts of the daily routines.

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Source: Népszava

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