Gulyás: Hungary Has 1-2 Months’ Head Start


Because both Western and Eastern vaccines have been administered, Hungary’s vaccination plan is 1-2 months ahead of other European countries, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, has said. Hungary “leads the pack” with nearly 56% of adults inoculated, Gulyás said.


“Although restrictions regarding immunity certificates will remain in place until August, we may have a relatively normal summer,” he told a press briefing. Those who only accept Western vaccines will also be inoculated by end of June the latest, Gulyás said. Five million people have registered for vaccination already, and another 260,000 people working in health care and law enforcement, as well as the residents of elderly care homes, have been vaccinated without registration, he added. Meanwhile, social immunity is growing, along with falling caseload and fatality numbers, he said. However, the regulations in force will have to be observed until five million Hungarians have received their jabs, he said.

Regarding wage subsidies for companies suffering from the pandemic fallout, Gulyás said 86.5 billion forints (EUR 241.7m) have already been disbursed. Companies have so far applied for 87.1 billion in wage subsidies available until the end of May, he said.
Regarding the European Union’s recovery plan, Gulyás said the government trusted that the EU would quickly approve its plan for how to deploy the funds which the government submitted at the end of April. Relaunching the economy speedily is in the whole continent’s interest, he said. The government’s plan on using the funds received through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) will be published on the government’s website within a few days, Gulyás said. The main objectives remain the same, with 34% of the funds going towards health-care development, Gulyás said. Education, another high-priority sector, will get over 50% of the funds, he added. The RFF monies will serve to boost growth and competitiveness, he said.

Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi noted an app using QR codes to show whether someone is inoculated is about to be released. Synchronised with Hungary’s electronic health-care service site (EESZT), the app will show the name and social insurance number of the person checked, and whether they have already been vaccinated, she added.

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