Vaccination with Pfizer's Omicron-adapted COVID-19 shot may start in Hungary

Last week, 109,000 doses of the bivalent vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech for BA.1 subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant, arrived in Hungary. Although two new subvariants (BA.4 and BA.5) are now dominant and Pfizer/BioNTech have already received a recommendation for conditional marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on the booster dose of their Omicron BA.4/BA.5 bivalent-adapted COVID-19 Vaccine, it is the former (but still new) Covid booster that will be available in Hungary. Healthcare workers will be vaccinated first, and the general public will be able to take their turn next week.
vakcina oltás koronavírus

Healthcare workers are the first to receive Pfizer/BioNTech's new Omicron BA.1-adapted bivalent vaccine, 109,000 doses of which were delivered to Hungary last week, the official government portal dealing with Covid-related issues reported on Thursday.

As of next week, the vaccine will be available also for the public, strictly as a booster.  

Hungary has ordered a total of 9.5 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines in the EU procurement launched due to the prevalence of Omicron. Of this, 3 million doses could arrive this year and 6.5 million doses in 2023, including 1.5 million doses for vaccinating children.

According to the latest statistics, slightly more than 6.4 million Hungarians have received Covid shots, 61% of them three doses, and nearly 339,000 people got two boosters.

The efficiency of vaccines does not last forever, and boosters are warranted every four or five months (mainly for vulnerable populations). Hence, the above figures (61% with three doses and 339,000 people with four shots) do not mean much, we would need to look at WHEN these shots were administered and draw conclusions on how their efficacy dwindled.

The vaccination uptake has declined further, though. A total of 3,079 COVID-19 shots have been administered in Hungary between 6 and 13 September, down from 4,168 a week earlier and 5,440 two week earlier.

The daily average dropped 26% to just 440 doses per day.

Cover photo: Getty Images

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