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Gov't approves 1st, HUF 6 tln phase of economic recovery plan 

Government

The government has decided on the initial HUF 6 trillion phase of the Economic Recovery Action Plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a weekly interview on public radio on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Until mass vaccination against the coronavirus starts, Orbán told Kossuth Rádió, "protecting workplaces will be the most important thing", but when there is enough vaccine and the country reopens, the government will launch its Economic Recovery Action Plan.

"We've already approved the first chapter, and we've already decided on HUF 6,000 billion of recovery measures," he said.

The PM said higher education would be the "biggest winner" in the Economic Recovery Action Plan as a development program is launched at universities on a scale "unprecedented in Hungarian history".

"In the coming 1-2 years, we're going to invest HUF 1,500 bln in Hungarian universities," he said.

Vaccine rollout "progressing well", PM says

Orbán said the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is "progressing well" as the inoculation of healthcare workers has been completed and inoculation of nursing home residents and staff will finish by Sunday.

He said vaccination on the basis of registration would start from the beginning of the coming week, following the established order that gives the elderly and those with chronic illnesses priority.

He urged Hungarians who want to be vaccinated to register to indicate their intention, noting that vaccination is voluntary and free of charge.

The vaccination rollout is entering "a new phase", he said, adding that how many people will register remains "a big issue".

He said registration numbers are "in the neighborhood of 2 million" at present.

"We all know that this is too little for the entire society to gain immunity," he added, encouraging people to register and get vaccinated.

"I'll get vaccinated, too. I'll have my turn," Orbán said, acknowledging that people may have preferences regarding the vaccine they get and disclosing that he would prefer to be inoculated with the Chinese vaccine.

"The Chinese have known this virus for the longest, and I'll presume that they probably know the most about it. So I'll wait my turn, and if I can choose, I'll ask for the Chinese vaccine," he added.

The PM said Hungary could contract delivery of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine "today or tomorrow".

Calculating inoculation numbers without the Chinese vaccine, he said 880,000 Hungarians could be vaccinated, including second jabs, by early March.

"If the Chinese vaccine comes, we could double that, and if the Russian vaccine arrives, we could be even faster," he said.

"We could find ourselves in a radically different position around Easter," he added.

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