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Hungary nearing herd immunity

Science

Photo by BaLL LunLa / Shutterstock.com

Hungary is "close to reaching community immunity" against the coronavirus, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

Gulyás said "about 54%" of Hungary's population has been inoculated against the coronavirus, but the rate including Hungarians who are immune after recovering from Covid is "certainly over 60%, and could be around 65%-70%".

He said all of the COVID vaccines Hungary is using are safe and effective, citing fresh data that show 8,193 of the some 3.7 million Hungarians who have already had their second jab became infected with the coronavirus, while 524 of them died.

Gulyás added that Hungary's digital COVID immunity certificate will comply with rules that apply to the European Union's green certificate by June 15. In line with EU rules, the digital version of the immunity certificate will contain the dates of inoculation and the type of vaccination, he added.

He noted that the EU rules come into force from July 1.

Asked whether Hungarians who got the Sputnik V vaccine, which has still not been cleared by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), would be able to travel without restriction in the EU, Gulyás said the EU directive in force from July 1 states that member states "must accept EMA-approved jabs and may accept others". 

He also noted that Hungary has reached agreements with 12 countries on recognizing its immunity certificates, including cardholders who have been inoculated with the Sputnik V jab.

"We trust that [certificate holders] will be able to travel to the fullest extent," he said.

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