Notwithstanding the fast pace of vaccinations in Hungary, maximum effort should be made to prevent a potential fourth wave, a top infectologist of the South-Pest Central Hospital said on Saturday.
János Szlávik warned that the British variant was spreading fast among younger people, and he called on the public to adhere to mask-wearing and social distancing rules.
When it comes to easing restrictions, the vaccinations rate and the drop in the number of new infections must be considered together, he said. The number of Covid-related deaths is still stubbornly high, he said, adding that he was optimistic however that the number of new infections and fatalities would decline in the coming weeks and months. The rate of decrease should determine the regime for easing restrictions, he added.
Szlávik called on all Hungarians to get vaccinated, adding that Hungary would reach herd immunity once 80-90 percent of people are fully inoculated. He said a real possibility of infection hotspots could emerge.
“It’s possible that coronavirus will stay with us for months or even years,” Szlávik said.
On another note, Hungary has managed to procure 1 million Chinese vaccine doses instead of the 400,000 originally scheduled for delivery by the end of April, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said on Saturday.
Szijjártó noted recent delays in deliveries of vaccines procured by the European Union, saying that often fewer vaccines arrived than promised or entire shipments were cancelled.
“This now applies to around half a million Western vaccines,” he said.
In addition to the 400,000 vaccines due in April, China is delivering 600,000 doses due in May ahead of schedule, he said, adding that this would offset the delay in Western shipments.