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Orbán sees large-scale COVID-19 immunization by April 2021

Government

Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday said Hungary could start administering Covid-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable Hungarians by January, and wide-scale immunization could begin by April of next year, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Viktor Orbán (Photo by Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com)

In a weekly interview on public radio in the morning, after a video conference with EU leaders late Thursday, Orbán said there is a "high probability" that the first does of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Hungary "at the end of December or the beginning of January".

He told Kossuth Rádió that elderly Hungarians and those with chronic health problems could be immunized "around January", while mass shipments of the vaccine would "probably arrive in April".

"Itʼs in April that I can say with a high degree of probability that we can declare victory over the pandemic," Orbán said.

He said talks on acquiring vaccines from China and Russia are also ongoing, adding that not just one vaccine, ordered by the EU, could be available in the spring, but "two or three".

Orbán said observing existing rules, such as those requiring masks, is "key" to pandemic defense, rather than rolling out more restrictions.

He noted that sanctions for violating mask-wearing rules would come into force from Monday.

Orbán said Hungary is in third place in the EU in terms of number of hospital beds reserved for Covid-19 patients, relative to its population, and in first place in terms of number of ventilators.

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