Briefing notes

COVID-19 Update: Experts support the inclusion of a fourth vaccine

The safety of families comes first for the government, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said.

Encouraging everyone to take the vaccine, PM Orbán told local radio that the third vaccine already increases immunity very strongly; he added that it is recommended people wait six months before a fourth dose is given.

The PM said that domestic hospital capacity, especially human capacity, is fantastic, adding that the latest report shows that 2,611 people are in the hospital for coronavirus infection, with 243 on ventilators.

There will be a vaccination action day every weekend in January, PM Orbán said. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, it will be possible to get vaccinated without an appointment at hospital vaccination points and district clinics, he added. 

The PM stressed that the state, the administration and the healthcare system are ready to vaccinate everyone; more than 2 million Pfizer and 700,000 Moderna vaccines are available.

Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said that the immunity card will in the future become a vaccination card. Starting February 15, only those who have received their third vaccination or their second vaccination within the last six months will be considered vaccinated. For people under 18 years of age, two vaccinations will be sufficient. In practice, this will not require new cards to be issued, as the QR code on them will contain the necessary information. 

The quarantine period will be shortened as well, the minister added. It will be 7 days for adults, which can be reduced to 5 days with a negative test. In lower primary schools, similar to the practice in upper primary schools, the quarantine period will be reduced to 5 days in case of possible illness in the class and will only apply to the unvaccinated, he added. 

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