We are in the ascending phase of the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic, the national chief medical officer told the public media.
Cecília Müller said the downward phase of the second wave has recently come to a halt and the third wave is starting from this higher level. The number of thousands of cases per day has doubled overnight, and now nearly three thousand new infections – 2,912 new positive cases were registered on Saturday – have been highlighted. This is why she fears an exponential increase in the number of illnesses, which could place a greater burden on health care institutions, ahe added.
The national chief medical officer stressed that this is why the screening buses were re-set up so that screening tests initiated by general practitioners for a suspected illness could be performed as quickly as possible.
Cecília Müller also spoke about the experts saying that the upswing is caused by the emergence of new, more infectious virus variants. Of the British mutant, whose pathogenicity is 70 percent higher than before, 322 cases have been detected in Hungary, she said. She stressed that vaccines are effective for the British mutant, but there is not enough experience with the Brazilian and South African versions yet.
Cecília Müller was informed that many people will have the opportunity to be vaccinated next week and asked people to go vaccinate themselves if their GP sought them because of this. She said: In Hungary, the population can already use five types of vaccinations, all of which are more than 70 percent effective. In addition to Western vaccines, both East, Russian and Chinese have been received by many millions, she added.
GPs receive an average of 55 vaccines from the newly authorized Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, the amount depending on the composition of the practice. This vaccine contains a killed, inactivated virus entirely with the hereditary material, protein and envelope that elicit a strong immune response, she explained.
The national chief physician noted that the Hungarian vaccine development also chose this technology because, in addition to the fact that the immune response can be stronger and even longer if the virus changes, this technology later allows more room for maneuver. The vaccine will be adapted to a new variant in as little as a few months, she added.
Cecília Müller said the Sinopharm vaccine came from China in four production batches and should be released batch-by-batch by the National Center for Public Health (NNK) after emergency approval by the National Institute of Pharmacy and Food Health (OGYÉI).
This means that the documentation sent by the manufacturer must always be compared with the results of an independent test. The latter required a deficiency in the case of the Chinese vaccine and only then did the authorities allow human use, Cecília Müller said.