COVID-19: Hungary to offer citizens booster jabs from August 1

Viktor Orban said in his weekly radio interview that he would authorise third doses of COVID vaccines from August
Viktor Orban said in his weekly radio interview that he would authorise third doses of COVID vaccines from August Copyright Darko Vojinovic/AP
By Euronews
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Prime Minister Viktor Orban confirmed citizens would be offered their third doses from August, regardless of age, health, or which vaccine they initially received.

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Hungary will begin offering citizens a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from the beginning of August, the country's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has confirmed.

The announcement comes on Friday amid growing demand for booster shots, prompted by Europe's preparations for a new wave of the coronavirus.

Speaking during his weekly interview with Kossuth Rádió, Orban said there was "more than enough vaccines" to offer around, and advised people wait for four months after their second dose.

They will be made available to all people regardless of age, health or which vaccine they received initially.

The Hungarian leader also acknowledged opinions were divided about the decision, meaning individual doctors would bear responsibility of which vaccines to offer.

"We don't have any facts to suggest a third vaccine could be harmful so we don't need to worry about it," he said.

"Therefore I don't see why we should block this opportunity. So we will make possible to get the third vaccine, but we recommend to wait at least four months between the second and third one."

Hungary is not the first to consider offering boosters to citizens; the UK is also weighing up offering third jabs from September as it looks forward to ramping up immunity before winter.

The EU, meanwhile, has said it is "too early" to decide upon advice regarding booster shots, citing a lack of data.

A statement released Wednesday said: "Any new evidence that becomes available on this topic will be rapidly reviewed.

"Real world effectiveness data from Europe and other parts of the world, are of particular interest to supplement data from clinical trials investigating booster doses."

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