A small number of coronavirus vaccines may arrive in Hungary in December, but mass vaccination of the population may begin in 2021, the head of the National Public Health Center’s (NNK) epidemiology department said at an online press conference on Monday.
Answering a question, Ágnes Galgóczi reminded that in order to ensure the vaccination of the population against the coronavirus, Hungary had purchased a total of 17.5 million vaccines from several manufacturers. The vaccine authorization process is continuously monitored and, at present, it seems that the Pfizer vaccine may be licensed by the European Medicines Agency as soon as possible, so it will be available for mass vaccination for the first time.
Describing the epidemiological data, the expert said that in the last 24 hours, coronavirus infection had been detected in 3,470 new Hungarian citizens, thus increasing the number of identified infections to 283,870. The majority of 165 deaths were elderly, chronic patients, bringing the number of deaths to 7,130. The number of recovered patients is also steadily rising, currently 82,546, but there are still 7,667 patients with coronavirus that are hospitalized, 605 of whom are on ventilators.
There are more than 72 million people registered with coronavirus infection worldwide and more than 1.6 million people have died. In Europe, despite strict epidemiological measures, the number of cases isn’t decreasing, the head of the department said.
In Hungary, the goal is to slow down the epidemic and keep the health care system functioning, the expert emphasized, so he asked everyone to follow the epidemiological measures and hygiene regulations.
The government has suspended the shopping time zone for the elderly to reduce congestion, Ágnes Galgóczi said, advising seniors to avoid periods when many people are in shops and pharmacies and to comply with epidemiological measures, especially mask wearing regulations.
In response to a question, she said that the elderly could register for the coronavirus vaccination on the Internet, on the website vaccinainfo.gov.hu and by returning the letter delivered by the post office according to the schedule.
The “plateau phase” of the epidemic could take several weeks if everyone adheres to the epidemiological measures, with a slow decline in the number of cases, the head of department said.