Grassroots Persuasion to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy, Advocated by Hungary’s PM

  • 24 Aug 2021 7:35 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Grassroots Persuasion to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy, Advocated by Hungary’s PM
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán urged Hungarians who have already been inoculated against the coronavirus to coax “at least one other person”, be it a family member or a co-worker, who hasn’t been vaccinated to get their Covid jabs in an interview on public radio.

“If everybody can convince one more person [to get inoculated], a level of immunity will be achieved in the country that makes the scale of the fourth wave nothing like that of the earlier waves,” Orbán said on Kossuth Rádió.

“We can inoculate everybody; we have 8 million jabs in stock,” he added.

Orbán acknowledged that the available data show “one in 500 inoculated people” will become infected with the coronavirus, but their symptoms will be milder than those of people who haven’t had a Covid jab.

 He said the fourth wave of the pandemic is “knocking at the door”, albeit “knocking the loudest” on the doors of countries in the region and in western Europe.

“The government has worked through the summer to prepare the country for the fourth wave,” he added, noting a planned inoculation drive ahead of the start of the school year and the chance to get booster shots.

Orbán said the effectiveness of mask-wearing pales in comparison to the “overwhelming power” of inoculation and announced a new campaign to promote vaccination from September 1.

On another topic, he said Hungarian pensioners would likely get a 50,000-56,000 forint (EUR 143-160) or higher growth-linked pension premium this year as the economy “speeds ahead”.

Orbán said he trusts GDP growth will reach the 5.5 percent threshold triggering a personal income tax rebate for families raising children.

He added that the government also aims to push ahead with a personal income tax exemption for Hungarians under 25 and will continue the reintroduction of the annual pension bonus.

Commenting on the fireworks display for the August 20 national holiday that drew some 700,000 people, Orbán said a “circus attraction” had been “successfully transformed into an uplifting artistic performance that inspired national pride”.

MTI Photo - PM's Press Office: Vivien Cher Benko

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