Menu Close

Tag: Covid-19

Thousands attend Our Homeland anti-vaccine protest in Budapest

picture of Our Homeland protest

Far-right party Our Homeland Movement held a demonstration Sunday afternoon in downtown Budapest against the “covid dictatorship,” as they phrase it. The party held a similar event in November, with both demonstrations attracting a few thousand protesters.

The party protested mandatory vaccinations in Hungary, despite the fact that such mandates are already quite uncommon in Hungary, as well as policies requiring children to be vaccinated.

They also expressed their opposition to the government’s announcement on Thursday that the official “protection card” will become a “vaccination card” on February 15, meaning that it will only be valid for those who have received three vaccine shots, or gotten the second shot within the past six months.

Party chairman László Toroczkai, who portrays himself as “Hungary’s only unvaccinated candidate for prime minister,” said that the party intends to increase its street resistance against “vaccine terror” until the April 3 elections.

[444][Photo: Mi Hazánk Mozgalom / Facebook]

Hungarians report they can’t unsubscribe from gov’t information email list

picture of frustrated woman

Following media reports that the government’s vaccine information email list has begun sending more and more information about governmental achievements instead of vaccine-related news, readers have written in to comment that they cannot unsubscribe from the list.

Vaccination in Hungary originally required people to first register through the government’s “Vaccine Info” website, which also gave them an extra option to sign up for regular email updates about vaccine availability and other presumably-related topics.

Back in December 2020, Telex expressed concerns that the privacy agreement that users consented to when signing up for this list was too general, and could allow the government to use it for non-vaccine purposes if it so wished.

However, the Government Information Center, headed by Minister Antal Rogán in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, sent the news site a statement at that time which appeared to assuage these concerns:

We want to ensure that registrants have the opportunity to stay informed about the vaccine until they are notified of their vaccination date. The second consent allows this to be possible, subject to strict data protection rules. As in recent months, general information tasks related to the epidemic are being carried out by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, as indicted in provisions in the privacy notice.

In the light of recent media reports, Telex contacted the office again about the matter, but the Cabinet Office responded that their actions were within the bounds of the law and gave no response regarding the apparent discrepency between their original stated intent and the content of the emails now sent to subscribers.

“I’ve tried to unsubscribe 6 times”

In theory, subscribers should be able to stop getting these emails anytime they wish through a legally-required notice that informs readers how to unsubscribe. Indeed, the vaccine information newsletter does include a statement at the bottom of all of its emails that reads:

If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to leiratkozas.kormanytajekoztato@mk.gov.hu. In this event, the data controller will delete your email from the register.

In practice, however, it doesn’t seem to be that simple. Several readers wrote into Telex with comments like the folowing:

“The unsubscribe method mentioned at the end of the article doesn’t work. I’ve now sent my 4th unsubscribe letter in the past few days, as the first 3 had no effect.”

“I asked them to unsubscribe my email address at the end of August, yet I still get the government propaganda mentioned in the article.”

“I’ve tried to unsubscribe 6 times, but have been getting them ever since.”

“Regarding adherence to ‘strict privacy rules,’ I would like to point out that months ago (specifically in April 2021) I tried to unsubscribe from this newsletter following the steps provided at the bottom of the email, but I have been receiving them nonstop since then, most recently just this week.”

Of course, these individual anecdotes are not necessarily indicative of every person’s experience. However, they do suggest that in at least a few cases there appears to be a problem getting off the list, perhaps due to a technical error.

Telex reached out to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office again to clarify if there are problems with the list’s method of unsubscribing, but the article has not been updated with any response from the agency.

(Hopefully there are no similar problems for those who wish to unsubscribe from the Hungarian Politics newsletter!)

[Telex][Photo: Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash]

United opposition demands immediate action over 40,000 Covid deaths in Hungary

picture of votive candles

“United for Hungary: Let’s remember our 40,000 dead – the price of a hushed up epidemic” was the title of a statement from the joint opposition coalition shared on Facebook yesterday by Péter Márki-Zay, their nominee for prime minister.

United for Hungary claims that the Orbán government’s management of the epidemic has been a failure, as evidenced by the fact that the number of deaths from the coronavirus in Hungary just surpassed 40,000.

Now that we are at the beginning of the fifth wave, we have to brace for losing more of our compatriots in higher numbers than ever before. We call on the government to launch a vaccination campaign immediately, expand testing capacity and ensure that there are sufficient and respected professionals in hospitals.

-the United for Hungary coalition demanded.

They also called on the “most insensitive and greediest government of all time” to abandon its own businesses dealing with the coronavirus, and meaningfully focus on the most vulnerable Hungarians, even if it has not yet done so. At the same time, the Unity for Hungary coalition expresses its condolences to the families of the 40,000 deceased Hungarians.

After installing a new government in the spring, we will create a health care system that provides accessible and high-quality care to all Hungarian citizens, and offers dignified conditions to its workers.

-the opposition promised in its statement.

[Népszava][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Government using email addresses gathered through vaccine registration for propaganda purposes

picture of vaccine info website

The government has started sending propaganda material to email addresses that people voluntarily provided when they registered online to get the coronavirus vaccine, reports HVG.

To get vaccinated in Hungary, initially people had to book a time through the government’s Vaccine Info site. Two checkboxes were presented to the person using the site, one mandatory and the other optional. By ticking the mandatory box, the person who wanted to get vaccinated simply consented to sending necessary data to the National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK), without which they couldn’t have received the vaccine.

Next to the second, optional checkbox was the following text:

I consent to the processing of my personal details for the purposes of maintaining contact, as set forth in the privacy notice until I withdraw my consent.

The privacy notice stated that the person voluntarily consented to providing their personal details, in this case their name, email address, telephone number, and address, which would be handled by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office “for purposes of further contact, requesting information, providing information, or sending emails.” The Cabinet Office, headed by Minister Antal Rogán, is also responsible for government communication efforts, although processing the data of vaccine registrants is handled by a state-owned company called Idomsoft Zrt.

Emails are now more about government achievements than vaccine-related information

People presumably checked the second, optional checkbox on the Vaccine Info page to continue to receive information about available vaccines and other related information about the coronavirus epidemic in Hungary.

However, for some time now, Rogán’s ministry has been exceeding the authorization that was given by voluntarily ticking the box. In the past few days, several HVG employees have received the same email with the subject line, “Do you know about the most important changes for 2022?” sent by the Government Information Center from bounce@hirlevelkuldo.kormany.hu.

Regarding vaccination and the pandemic, the email only had this to say:

We will continue to work to reduce the epidemic through the vaccination program in 2022, and the country will continue to function and be further strengthened during this time. Our goal is for all Hungarians to experience this strengthening feeling in their own lives.

The rest of the email touts the government’s successes, detailing the measures taken at the beginning of this election year: raising the minimum wages for unskilled and skilled workers, wage increases in various industry sectors, tax cuts, the return of the 13th month pension, eliminating personal income tax for those under 25, tax breaks for families, and doubling the subsidies given for baby bonds.

But this email, sent at the beginning of the year, was not the first sent to those who registered for “vaccine information” that did not contain much information about the vaccine or the pandemic.

Last October, Viktor Orbán sent a similar letter to this email list trumpeting the success of the national consultation and its consequences: more than 1.4 million people had shared their thoughts with the government through the consultation, he wrote. Encouraged by this response, the government claimed it decided on a number of social welfare issues, which were largely the same measures listed in the later New Year’s email.

Gov’t told a different story back in 2020

In December 2020, news site Telex asked the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office what their specific intent was with the data they planned to collect. At that time, the Cabinet Office answered in a way that conformed with the likely expectations of people who checked the box:

We want to ensure that registrants have the opportunity to stay informed about the vaccine until they are notified of their vaccination date. The second consent allows this to be possible, subject to strict data protection rules. As in recent months, general information tasks related to the epidemic are being carried out by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, as indicted in provisions in the privacy notice.

Despite this statement, emails from the government in recent months appear to be using data for those who opted for “vaccine information” in quite a different way than what was originally promised.

[HVG]

No trace of what happened to money that EU provided to Hungary for Covid testing, says Ujhelyi

picture of István Ujhelyi

Hungarian MEP István Ujhelyi (pictured) said that the European Union has made significant funds available for the Hungarian government to provide reduced price or free coronavirus tests for travelers, but there’s no record of what happened to this money or even how much of it was used.

The MSZP politician held an online press conference yesterday where he announced that according to official information he received from the European Commission, Hungary had 900 million Ft. (US $2.84 million) available to use for travelers who require Covid testing.

Ujhelyi pointed out that when the European Parliament discussed creating a single EU coronavirus card system, a Hungarian MEP was one of the sponsors. The package also included budgeting €100 million ($113 million) for Member States to provide discounted or free tests to those impacted by travel restrictions due to coronavirus.

According to the Socialist MEP, the European Commission informed him that it had made €2.3 million available to Hungary from the EU framework plan, but the Hungarian government has not yet provided information on how much of this it has spent or on what items.

István Ujhelyi added that the committee had notified Member States of the funding possibility last June, concluded contracts at the end of July, and provided a 70% advance payment to all participating Member States.

The European Member of Parliament has asked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to inform him how much the government requested from the available EU funds for testing, how many people have been given discounted or free tests, and how this was decided, as well as how the Cabinet used 500,000 rapid tests that were sent to Hungary from another grant line.

[Index][Photo: dr. István Ujhelyi / Facebook]

European Commission: despite Orbán’s denials, Hungary is taking part in joint vaccine procurement

picture of Pfizer vaccine

The Hungarian government continues to claim that it will not be taking part in the European Union’s purchase of Pfizer vaccines that it first declined at the end of May, but the EU appears to be contradicting this claim.

Minister Gergely Gulyás said in early December that new batches of vaccines for children would be arriving, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also said this about a not-yet-developed vaccine for the omicron variant in his international press conference on Tuesday.

However, the European Commission has said that both of these will be purchased by EU Member States as part of its vaccine procurement. The Brussels-based body told this to 444 a few weeks ago about the vaccine for children, and has now confirmed it to Telex about the omicron vaccine.

Moreover, the Commission also revealed that the Hungarian government had joined its procurement on October 5. It could not have done otherwise, according to the body, as there has been no new contract between Pfizer and the EU since May.

[444]

Parliament votes to extend state of emergency until June 1, won’t affect elections

picture of Hungarian Parliament

In its last session of the year, more than thirty issues were on the agenda in Parliament on Tuesday. Among these were a bill to extend the state of emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic until June 1, 2022, which passed with 133 votes in favor, 2 against, and 1 absention.

A majority of the opposition, totalling 63 Members of Parliament, did not take part in the vote. While voting was taking place, opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay held a joint press conference with his political partners in front of Parliament.

Gergely Gulyás, minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, had submitted the bill, which affects certain regulatory issues related to the pandemic-induced state of emergency.

A state of emergency was originally declared on March 11, 2020 after the coronavirus first appeared in Hungary, permitting the government to take protective measures to control its spread. The state of emergency ended on June 18, 2020, but certain measures remained in force.

The second wave of the coronavirus arrived in the fall of 2020, leading to Parliament voting in favor of measures to protect against the second wave of the pandemic on November 10.

The state of emergency was extended again in February, then in May of this year, and finally in September it was extended until January 1, 2022, despite protests by the political opposition that it was unnecessary.

State Secretary István György noted at a previous session of Parliament that extending the state of emergency would not affect the timetable of next year’s Parliamentary elections or national referendums.

In addition, the current legal amendment also states that the government reserves the right to initiate an early end to the state of emergency if it deems it possible.

In practice, the state of emergency affects certain regulatory changes, such as extending the moratorium on mortgage repayments until June 30, granting tax refunds for individuals raising children, and exempting students from language exam requirements in the awarding of diplomas.

[Index]

Hungary enacts restrictions to stem the spread of the omicron variant

picture of person getting Covid test

Joining other countries, Hungary is also enacting travel and quarantine restrictions on people coming from the South African region to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus variant, reports Magyar Hang.

According to a government decree published in the Official Gazette on Saturday, Hungarians returning from the region or those who have visited the area two weeks prior to their arrival will have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The regulations, taking effect on Monday, cover seven countries: the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Hungarian citizens arriving home from the region will have to be tested for Covid upon entering Hungarian territory, and will be placed in quarantine at a designated location if they test positive or are suspected of being infected. However, even those who do not test positive for coronavirus will still have to spend 14 days of official quarantine at home.

As a general rule, non-Hungarian citizens from these seven countries will not be allowed to enter Hungary through normal passenger traffic, although there are exceptions for certain situations. In any case, these individuals will still have to undergo 14 days of official in-house quarantine after arrival.

The Council of the European Union discussed on Friday the necessary steps to take to respond to the newly-identified B.1.1.529 “omicron” variant, initially discovered in South Africa. According to a proposal submitted at the meeting, the so-called “emergency brake mechanism” should be applied to people from the South African region. That is, Member States agreed on the need to introduce travel restrictions and ban entry from several countries.

Hungary’s Government Information Center announced on Saturday morning that the country would also restrict air travel in an effort to curb the new spread of the new variant.

[Magyar Hang]

All Hungarian MPs have reportedly been vaccinated

picture of Hungarian Parliament

Telex has confirmed that all Members of Parliament have been vaccinated, despite the fact that they have not made it mandatory for themselves.

Under current regulations, vaccination requirements are in effect for all staff working in the Office of the National Assembly, except for Parliamentary representatives.

Independent MP János Bencsik had previously proposed making vaccination compulsory for representatives.

The Socialists not only support the idea, but would even terminate the mandate of a Member who does not get vaccinated by December 31.

Green party LMP has not yet made a decision on whether to support the proposal, while Jobbik insists that there should be no vaccine mandates for anyone, as does Dóra Dúró from Mi Hazánk.

Despite the debate, it seems that all MPs have now gotten their Covid vaccine shot, says the news site.

[Telex, Index]

European Commission giving €250 million to Hungary for vaccines and health care workers

picture of EU flags

The European Commission is providing €250 million (US $283 million) in aid to Hungary this year and €104 million (US $118 million) next year. These funds will allow for the purchase of 13 million coronavirus vaccine doses licensed by the European Medicines Agency, and financial overtime compensation for some 7,000 doctors and nurses during the outbreak, the Brussels body announced on Friday.

The Commission will provide the funding as part of the REACT-EU package, which will support the sectors and workers most affected by closures due to the epidemic.

A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed that the 1.8 billion Biontech-Pfizer vaccine doses contracted between the pharmaceutical company and the European Union in May this year will be available to EU Member States, and will be shipped between 2021 and 2023.

This amount will be enough to provide a third booster dose for children between the ages of 5 and 11, as well as donate large number of vaccines to countries without the financial means to obtain them on their own.

Magyar Hang notes that it is now partly clear why the Hungarian government had previously opted out of the EU’s joint procurement of vaccines.

Previously, the Hungarian government had justified its withdrawal from the joint procurement process on the grounds that it considered Pfizer’s vaccine too expensive. The news source notes that letting the European Union pay the bill instead of Hungary gets around that obstacle.

[Népszava, Magyar Hang]

Government plans to extend state of emergency until June 2022

picture of Zsolt Semjén

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén (pictured) has submitted a law to Parliament that, among other things, would extend the state of emergency in Hungary due to the coronavirus until June 1, 2022, writes Telex. The bill is considered “critical,” meaning that it will require a two-thirds majority of MPs present to pass it.

The state of emergency provides the government the opportunity to react quickly in extraordinary circumstances. As defined by the “two-thirds” law, government regulations issued in such a state may suspend certain laws, deviate from statutory provisions, and permit the government to take other exceptional measures.

The Disaster Management Act details the areas in which these emergency measures are typically taken, such as vehicular traffic, occupying public spaces, restrictions on congregating, and eviction. However, Telex points out that in reality the law can cover a much wider range of activity, allowing the government to take nearly any action it sees as important to protect against the virus and providing justification for it as well.

[Telex]

MSZP: make every week “Vaccine Week” from now on

picture of vaccine location

The solution to improving the vaccination rate is obvious, according to the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP): cancel the registration procedure and start an ongoing “Vaccine Week” from now on. In light of the success of the Vaccine Week campaign, it seems like a clear step for the government to take, the party believes.

More than 18,500 people got their first shot on Monday, the first day of Vaccine Week, when citizens can receive shots without prior registration. This amount is several times higher than before the start of the campaign, when around 3,000 shots were administered daily. Indeed, the apparent intent of the Vaccine Week campaign is to reach out to those who had so far refused the vaccine completely.

The MSZP wrote that “the Orbán government, which employs the use of spyware, is unhealthily attracted to gathering data,” but saving people’s lives is more important. It is in the interest of the entire country to protect as many people as possible from the serious effects of the coronavirus, says the party, so they are demanding the end of the registration procedure.

“If the Fidesz government returns to the previous method of restricting vaccination, it must take responsibility for the dramatic results that occur,” the Socialist Party added.

[Magyar Hang]

Márki-Zay does not support Austria-style vaccine mandates

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

In an interview with TV news RTL Híradó, Péter Márki-Zay said that he is not a supporter of instituting vaccine mandates in Hungary.

The opposition coalition’s prime ministerial candidate discussed his views on Austria being the first country to make vaccination compulsory, which has resulted in tens of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Hungary should learn from countries that protect their citizens more effectively, said Márki-Zay, but he would not follow Austria’s example of instituting vaccine mandates, due to widespread societal resistance of them.

Péter Márki-Zay thought it was “outrageous” that the government was withholding information on the epidemic, saying that this is why so many people not only doubt the government’s competence and the effectiveness of the vaccines, but also the existence and danger of the virus.

The opposition politician stated that Hungary could better protect itself against the spread of the virus through social distancing, the use of facemasks, stores closings, and disinfection measures.

In addition, the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely has likewise not set vaccine requirements for municipal employees in his hometown either, as he considers it more important for everyone to decide their health matters for themselves.

[Telex]

DK demands publication of Orbán’s dossier on Covid stats

picture of Zoltán Varga

Viktor Orbán did not talk about the key issues in his regular Friday morning interview on public radio, according to the Democratic Coalition (DK). Specifically, the Prime Minister did not respond to the shortage of doctors and nurses in intensive care units, instead mentioning a “magic dossier” summarizing the experience of previous waves and preparing for new measures, said Zoltán Varga (pictured), a spokeperson for the DK caucus in Parliament and a member of the Welfare Committee, in a prepared statement.

The party says it is clear that the government is either incapable of interpreting such a dossier, or that Orban has not told the truth and there is no detailed summary on Hungary’s coronavirus experience.

DK is therefore demanding the immediate publication of this dossier the prime minister claims to exist, and sharing with the Hungarian public detailed information on the number of free hospital beds, specialists working in intensive care units and the number of vaccines the country has available.

Hungarians cannot be expected to trust a government that has been obscuring the progression of the epidemic for more than a year and a half, the party believes. “The lack of honest information is measurable in human lives, which Orbán fails to understand,” said Zoltán Varga.

[Népszava]

Constitutional Court has received 32 complaints over vaccine requirements

picture of person being vaccinated

The Constitutional Court has received 32 complaints in which the petitioners questioned the constitutionality of a government decree ordering the compulsory vaccination of state and municipal employees.

The measures intended by the government to limit the spread of the virus appeared in two decrees at the end of October, one for the private sector and the other for state and municipal employees.

The first decree grants private employers the right to determine whether their employees should be vaccinated, while the second one mandates vaccination for workers in education, the armed forces, those employed at cultural and social institutions, and government personnel working in administration and civil service. However, vaccine mandates for municipal employees are left to the discretion of mayors in each municipality.

The first complaint was filed on the basis of the sample motions, and the case was assigned to a Constitutional Judge-Rapporteur on November 16.

In the complaint, the petitioner states that the government decree goes beyond authorization provided for in the Fundamental Law by imposing a disproportionately harsh legal punishment for the failure to get vaccinated, and it unreasonably restricts basic rights to achieve its desired aim.

[Index]

Our Homeland holds protest against mandatory workplace vaccinations

picture of protest

The far-right Our Homeland Movement (Mi Hazánk) held a protest on Saturday in front of the Constitutional Court against compulsory Covid vaccinations, the group announced on their Facebook page.

“Blackmailing working people by taking away their jobs is unconstitutional,” said the party, which claimed it would submit a complaint to the court.

The party added, “Mi Hazánk is the only party that wants to talk about the real consequences of vaccination instead of requiring it. Everyone should be able to decide their own fate after they are properly informed!”

The demonstration was announced by the party after the government of neighboring Austria set out to make vaccination compulsory from next February, writes Telex.

In Hungary, employers can now set vaccine requirements at their workplaces by government decree, but Viktor Orbán also stated in his Friday morning radio interview that “we won’t be able to get around the fact that everyone will have to get vaccinated in the end.”

Some large companies have already made have already made vaccination compulsory for their employees, but many others have not.

Telex writes that Mi Hazánk has been campaigning more and more openly against Covid vaccinations since the summer, but Fidesz has not branded them as anti-vaccination, unlike the party’s rhetoric directed at other opposition parties.

[Telex]

Government publishes details of new facemask mandates

picture of Gergely Gulyás

The government is implementing new indoor mask mandates to combat the spread of coronavirus in Hungary, reports Telex via news agency MTI.

Facemasks will have to be worn indoors starting this Saturday, except for offices and sports halls, announced Minister Gergely Gulyás (pictured) at the Government Information session on Thursday. A vaccination card will be required for attending larger events, and a vaccine booster shot will be mandatory for health professionals.

Details of the epidemiological measures have already been published in the Official Gazette. The main provisions of these measures include:

  • From Saturday, masks must be worn in shops, malls, post offices, customer service areas, theaters, cinemas, museums, and sporting events.
  • Employees working at indoor cultural and other events, as well as in gyms, swimming pools, spas, and the hospitality industry must also wear a mask.
  • In nurseries, kindergartens, and schools, employers can determine their own individual rules for employees as well as for school principals and rectors in higher education institutions. “Everyone has the right to use a facemask, and no one can be prohibited from mask usage,” states the decree.
  • For religious services, each individual community can decide on their own rules for facemask usage.
  • To protect healthcare workers and patients and to ensure the smooth operation of patient care, healthcare workers will be required to get a third booster dose by December 10, provided that 180 days have elapsed since their previous vaccination.
  • A medical worker may not terminate their employment while under the current state of emergency.
  • Furthermore, a third vaccination is mandatory for those employed in the Prime Minister’s Office and cabinet. In other ministries, the relevant Minister may decree that a booster shot be mandatory for employees working there.

[Telex]

US recommends against travel to Hungary due to high level of Covid

picture of airport travellers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert for Hungary, Czech Republic, and Iceland due to the growing number of coronavirus infections in those countries.

The CDC raised its travel advisory for these countries on Monday to Level 4, “very high,” and urged U.S. citizens to avoid travel there if possible.

An email recently sent to U.S. citizens by the American Embassy in Hungary also stated that “the U.S. Department of State currently recommends against travel to Hungary.”

[444, via MTI]

Győr mayor: why we made vaccines mandatory for city employees

picture of András Csaba Dézsi

Unlike most Hungarian cities, Győr has opted to make vaccination mandatory for employees at city hall and in companies run by the municipality.

The mayor of the town in northwestern Hungary, Dr. András Csaba Dézsi, explained his reasoning in the town’s newspaper, in an interview that he conducted with himself.

It turns out that Győr differs from most municipalities in one important respect: András Csaba Dézsi is still a practicing doctor, and he feels that, “As a doctor, I am convinced that vaccination will be what stops the epidemic and provides protection to people. And as mayor, as an employer, the government has given me the opportunity to put that conviction into practice.”

The government has given Hungarian municipalities the choice to implement vaccine mandates to municipal employees, but it has not been embraced by many of them. Thus far only the municipalities of Budapest’s District XII and District XVI have opted to make vaccination compulsory for workers under their control.

Dézsi also answered his own question about his thoughts on other municipal leaders who have complained that the government was passing on the decision to them.

To this, the mayor wrote, “I am used to having to take responsibility for my decisions, and this decision is, after all, close to my medical background. The legal background for the action was created by the government. Of course, you can run away from making important decisions, you can consider its popularity or unpopularity, you can even choose not to decide, but for me, doing this would have been very hypocritical.”

By now, 85% of Győr’s municipal employees have already recived the vaccine. The rest have 90 days to get their shot, or 60 days for those who regularly meet with clients. Anyone who does not get vaccinated will have to go on unpaid leave, according to the mayor.

“I don’t want to convince anyone. We’re past that at this point,” he wrote.

[Azonnali]

Teachers have until Dec. 15 to get vaccinated

picture of Hungarian classroom

Hungarian teachers will have to be vaccinated against Covid by December 15 or otherwise risk being sent on unpaid leave, reports Index.

District educations centers circulated a letter obtained by HVG that specified the deadline for teachers to receive the first dose of the vaccine, leaving the date of the second dose to be determined by a medical doctor. It apparently does not address the those who decided on the one-dose Janssen vaccine.

The vaccination must then be certified by school administrators.

Teachers who do not get vaccinated will be sent on unpaid leave, then dismissed from their position if they still have not gotten their shot after one year.

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, stated at a Government Information session on Thursday that it was especially important for public employees who have contact with many people to vaccinate themselves.

The minister also said at the Government Info session that vaccination would be mandatory for teachers working as subcontractors as well.

[Index]