The Hungarian government’s vaccine passport will no longer state which type of vaccine Hungarians received, with Hungarian news sources all reporting the move was meant to avoid any discrimination by the European Union against Hungarian citizens inoculated with the Russian Sputnik V and the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
The Hungarian government modified its previous ordinance about the vaccine certificate and vaccine registry application originally issued on Feb. 12 (ordinance 60/2021 – II.12) on Saturday and the two will no longer contain the type of vaccine used for the inoculation, news and opinion portal Mandiner reports.
The new ordinance (86/2021 – II.27) says that the updated vaccination certificate and respective database will now contain the validity of the immunity offered by the vaccine, the name and passport number of the person who received it, but no longer the type of vaccine used. Although the government did not provide any explanation for the change, Hungary’s embrace of the Chinese and Russian vaccines are raising concerns that other EU members may not accept them as valid vaccines.
Although EU member states are currently far from agreeing on a vaccine passport as several countries deem it would be discriminatory, if there will be one, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) vaccine approval will probably feature in it in some manner.
Hungary is currently using three EMA-approved vaccines (Astra/Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) and two vaccines not yet approved by it. Hungarian President János Áder and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have both been inoculated over the weekend with the Chinese vaccine.
Poland recently announced that it will only allow the entry into the country of people vaccinated with EMA-approved vaccines, Czechia is also considering the use of the Chinese and Russian vaccines in order to make up for the slow delivery of EU-ordered vaccines.
On Friday, Orbán warned that his country is facing the third, most severe phase of the pandemic.
“I have only bad news. The situation is that we are facing the most difficult two weeks of the epidemic we have experienced so far,” Orbán said. “Due to the emergence of new mutations, the number of new infections is quickly rising and will continue to increase.”
According to the latest official data, on Sunday, Hungary, with a population of just under 10 million, registered 4,469 new coronavirus cases and 72 casualties, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to almost 15,000.
Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán receiving the Sinopharm vaccine on Sunday, February 28. (source: Facebook)