Demand for 1st and 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccines slackens in Hungary

Some government official is likely to share information about the latest results of the vaccination campaign soon. But why wait? We have the data, so let’s do this. Let's see those throngs of Hungarians queueing up to get vaccinated, while the number of daily new COVID-19 cases rises to all-time highs!

The cabinet has an ongoing ‘vaccination campaign’ in place this month, in scope of which Hungarians may get their first, second or third doses of a selection of COVID-19 vaccines without prior registration and appointment booking at various vaccination locations.

The shots are administered after on-site registration at vaccination locations between 2 and 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Fourth doses have also been made available. According to the relevant regulation, the vaccinating physician may decide to administer the 4th dose (2nd booster) of a COVID-19 vaccine if requested by a person over 18 years of age who has already received three doses and four months have elapsed since the 3rd jab.

Previously, they said a fourth shot (second booster dose) will be available for

  • the elderly,
  • the chronically ill,
  • people on immunosuppressive treatment and transplant recipients,
  • and in the disease groups listed by the Ministry of Human Capacities.

While the scope of eligibility has been widened (see paragraph above), it is still not possible to register for the fourth shot on the National eHealth Infrastructure (EESZT) website, and doctors have not yet received a professional recommendation on what protocol they should follow when it comes to fourth doses. But that’s kind of beside the point here.

István György, state secretary in charge of public affairs at the Prime Minister's Office, previously shared information about the weekend vaccination campaigns, but it seemed that he (they) calculated with four days (Thursday to Sunday) instead of three (Thursday to Saturday). For your convenience and to avoid any misunderstanding about the ‘huge success’ of the vaccination campaign, we have collected data for three and also for four days.

Overall, third doses remain much more in demand than first and second doses combined. In fact, 80% of all COVID-19 vaccines administered on the last three weekends (either over three or four days) were 3rd shots. And this share has been rising from one week to the next.

Calculating with shots administered over a three-day period we find that total demand on the first two weeks was practically the same and hardly increased on the third either. Total demand over a four-day period did increase from the first week to the second, but it hardly grew from the second to the third.

Looking at the doses (in both scenarios) we see that fewer and fewer Hungarians felt they needed their first or second doses, whereas demand for the first booster shots kept increasing.

Here’s the results of the first three weeks of the vaccination campaign for a three-day period (Thursday to Saturday).


And here’s the results of the first three weeks of the vaccination campaign for a four-day period (Thursday to Sunday).


Cover photo: Getty Images

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