Mr Orbán said vaccination will be available without the prior booking of an appointment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at hospital vaccination points and in surgeries in district centres. On Thursday and Friday vaccination services are available between 2.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m., while on Saturday between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Additionally, general practitioners will be open for vaccination on one weekend day beyond the usual hours, he added.
The Prime Minister stressed that the state, public administration and the healthcare system are ready to vaccinate everyone. More than two million Pfizer vaccines and 700,000 Moderna vaccines are available.
He said according to all medical experts the latest omicron variant is less virulent than the previous delta variant was, but this does not mean that we should stop trying to protect ourselves. He added that “we have a trump card in our hands” which works against both variants: vaccination.
The Prime Minister encouraged everyone to have themselves vaccinated, “if you’ve been vaccinated twice, have yourself vaccinated for a third time,” while parents should consider having their children inoculated.
He said the length of the quarantine period will be reduced from ten days to seven days, and with a negative test quarantine can be lifted after just five days.
He also mentioned that after 15 February persons will only be eligible for an immunity certificate if they have been vaccinated, meaning that the immunity certificate will become a vaccination certificate.
He pointed out: experts recommended that the government support inoculation with the fourth dose of the vaccine. After consulting their general practitioner, everyone will be free to have the fourth booster.
Encouraging everyone to have themselves vaccinated, Mr Orbán highlighted that already the third booster shot significantly enhances immunity. The fourth dose can be administered four months after the third one, while it is recommended after six months.
He mentioned that last year “Christmas was almost like you imagine it” as though the shadow of the virus was still here with us, families were able to gather together. He added that we cannot yet allow ourselves the feeling that the pandemic is a thing of the past.
The Prime Minister said Hungary’s hospital capacities, including especially their human capacities are fantastic, adding that according to the latest report, due to coronavirus infection 243 patients require invasive assisted ventilation, and there are 2,611 persons in hospital.
Regarding the latter data, he mentioned that “this number was once well above ten thousand,” and if necessary, even more hospital beds are available.
The Prime Minister pointed out that at present there is an inflationary process in the whole of Europe which is diverting the economy away from normal functioning, and while it would be good to stop inflation within the boundaries of the country, this is not possible. Therefore, the goal must be to dampen the negative effects of inflation. We must put up a defence effort in two directions: one of them is the raising of wages and pensions, while the other one is the curbing of price rises wherever possible, he stated.
He recalled that the government had introduced the reduction of household utility bills, had stopped the rise of fuel prices, and had imposed a ceiling on credit interest rates. As food prices are rising, they are now fixing the prices of certain basic foodstuffs at the 15 October level, and these products must be stocked at all times in sufficient quantities. This will be monitored, he said, adding that it is to be hoped that by the end of the ninety-day period of this measure the level of inflation in Europe, too, will subside.
Mr Orbán said there is no way of knowing what Brussels will do “because over there, rather than common sense, market dogmas are the prevailing trend,” the validity of which he himself accepts in many respects, but not their exclusivity. The government must represent not only market considerations, but equally national, pan-social criteria, “for us the security of families is the top priority,” he stated, adding that “we must protect families, and we can’t just shrug our shoulders when something bad is happening on the market, saying that ‘well, this is in the nature of the market economy,’” but we must attempt to intervene.
He said in Brussels this is not the prevailing thinking, and he is prepared for having to defend this measure.
He recalled that the VAT on fundamental foodstuffs had already been reduced to five per cent, but the Left had not voted for this measure at the time.
He took the view that “people in Brussels tend to believe that they’re the smartest,” they believe that Brussels is “an imperial centre, the political capital of Europe,” that is where the most knowledge has been accumulated, and so they think they can even tell who should do what and where. However, “we don’t share that view,” he added.
He said there will be attacks from Brussels due to the measures that seek to protect families, but they will be able to ward them off because there are European laws “which also guarantee our rights,” and recently, “in the past ten years or so, the Hungarians have proved that we’re not cowards, we don’t easily lose our nerve, we stand up and protect our own interests; this will be so in this case, too”.
He stressed that Hungary is a free country where adults are free to choose their lifestyle. However, we must recognise the right of parents to decide how they want to raise their children, including on sensitive issues such as sexuality.
Germany is a civilised state, and yet, a paedophile network involving hundreds of members has recently been uncovered over there, Mr Orbán mentioned, adding that these issues are handled well by the Hungarian laws.