Szlávik: Vaccinating 2.5M Could Change Course of Pandemic


Vaccinating 2.5 million Hungarians could change the course of the pandemic, but “there must be many, many more inoculations before we can sit back”, the chief infectious disease specialist at Budapest’s South Pest Central Hospital told public media on Monday.


Dr János Szlávik said it was thought early in the pandemic that herd immunity could be achieved by vaccinating 60-70% of the public, but the appearance of virus mutations, especially the British variant, now means 70-80% may need to be inoculated to stop the pandemic. He said more Hungarians want to get their Covid jabs as more of them see the serious consequences of the disease. Hungary’s vaccination rollout is progressing well, and more and more demographic groups can be called in for inoculation, he said, auguring a possible return to normal routines, in many respects, by the summer. He said there had been many new infections in recent days, and the number of Covid deaths was still “very high”. Szlávik said it could become clear in the course of the week whether the third wave would plateau. He said post-Covid syndrome, involving issues such as coughing, fever, headaches or memory loss, could affect around 30% of people who recover from the coronavirus, as opposed to the 10-15% previously estimated.

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