Subsiding pandemic stomps Hungarians' vax vim

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As the fifth wave in the coronavirus pandemic caused by the fast-spreading Omicron variant is gradually petering out, Hungarians keep losing their already moderate interest in getting vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Since the beginning of 2022, the government is trying to beef up the vaccination rate by making first, second and third shots of a variety of COVID-19 vaccines available at vaccination locations without the 'hassle' of pre-shot registration and appointment-booking. Let's find out how the news of fewer cases is affecting the residents' vaccination vibes.
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When István György, state secretary in charge of public affairs at the Prime Minister's Office, previously shared information about the weekend vaccination campaigns, 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 ‘success’ of the vaccination campaign, we have collected data for three and also for four days.

If you are not a numbers person, just ignore the tables and look at the charts.

First, let’s see the figures for the first three ‘weekends’ of February, both for three days (Thursday to Saturday) and for four days (Thursday to Sunday).

Demand for third doses dropped more than for first and second shots combined, as a result of which the distribution of 3rd and 1st+2nd doses is now basically even. This is the first time we are seeing this, as they have always administered more third jabs than first and second shots combined.

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And now, let’s see how the first three weekends of February fits into the pattern.

The trendlines for three days (Thursday-Saturday) clearly show a huge drop in the number of third doses administered, and the trend for 1st and 2nd shots combined is also descending.

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The trend is practically the same for four days (Thursday-Sunday).

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If you'd like to know how demand for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd doses changed from one week to another, the following charts (both for three and four days) will quench your thirst for knowledge. As you can see Hungarians wanted more second doses than on the preceding weekend only on the fourth 'vaccination campaign' weekend of January, while w/w demand for third doses grew on the 2nd and 3rd weekends of last month.

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Key data on vaccination in Hungary

A couple of important facts about Hungary's vaccination status:

  • nearly 3.34 million Hungarians (34.3%) of the population have not received a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine'
  • vaccination helps avoid infection and effectively prevents severe disease and death;
  • two doses provide seriously diminished effectiveness against infection by Omicron;
  • about 3.79 million Hungarians (39% of the population) are vaccinated with three doses of COVID-19 vaccines;
  • more than 5.7 million Hungarians got their 2nd jab more than four months ago;
  • on the wild assumption that all of the 3rd doses were administered to members of the above group, there are still about 1.92 million people in that group that have not received their third jab;
  • 1,082,000 Hungarians received their 3rd dose more than four months ago and 626,000 more than five months ago;

This is the distribution of first, second and third doses since 2 August (3rd doses have been available since then).

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Koronavirus.gov.hu, the official government website releasing information about the coronavirus pandemic, said on 7 February that 124,000 fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, and a week ago it reported that the figure was up at 160,566. No update has been released today, though.

Cover photo: Shutterstock

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