COVID-19 vaccines made available without prior registration for three days in Hungary

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Citing the "huge success" of the vaccination campaign weeks and the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Hungary has announced another vaccination campaign where first, second and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be available without prior registration and appointment booking. It will last for only three days between 16 and 18 December, and the shots will be administered only for four hours on Thursday and Friday, and 8 hours on Saturday.
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As the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines wane over time, full vaccination is recommended to be followed by a third (booster) dose at least four months after the second jab.

101 hospitals will participate in the following campaign where Hungarians may ask for their first, second, or third dose of five COVID-19 vaccines without prior registration or appointment booking. At the designated locations shots will be administered:

  • on 16 December (Thursday), between 2. p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • on 17 December (Friday), between 2. p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • on 18 December (Saturday), between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Everyone older than 12 years of age is welcome. Children aged 5 to 11 are inoculated against coronavirus only with prior registration and if parents book them an appointment.

COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca will be available.

The Vaccination Work Group plans additional vaccination campaign days for January when, in addition to the vaccination points in hospitals, vaccination will be carried out in all county seats and by general practitioners.

It remains a mystery why authorities do not get rid of the need to register in advance for COVID-19 shots. One of the lessons of the previous three 'vaccination campaign' weeks is that Hungarians are more willing to get their jabs without this hassle. The other lesson, however, is that it is not prior registration that prevents the majority from getting vaccinated. The numbers testify that while demand for COVID-19 jabs took off on the first week, a sweeping majority of the shots administered were third doses, i.e. those that had previously decided it was a good idea to get their shots accepted that a third dose would facilitate continued protection from infection, severe disease and death. The number of first and third doses administered plummeted by almost 80% from Friday to Monday, while 57% more second doses were given. The graphs below show how the initial zeal has vaporised over time. About 31% of Hungary's 9.7 million population are protected by three doses of COVID-19 vaccines. A study by researchers from Oxford University showed a much greater decrease in the effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech's and AstraZeneca's vaccines against the Omircon variant of coronavirus than against previous strains.

Cover photo: Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images

 

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