We are in the fourth wave up to our necks
19. 11. 2021.
“We are in the fourth wave up to our necks,” the worst is yet to come, and the only thing that provides protection is the vaccine, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday. The Prime Minister also said the vast majority of Hungarians support the reduction of fuel prices.

The Prime Minister highlighted that the lives of those who have not been vaccinated are at risk. Everyone is responsible for themselves, but there is more at stake now because everyone who has not been vaccinated is a threat not only to themselves, but also to everyone else, he said, adding that the protective measures in place provide no protection against the virus, only slow down the spread of the epidemic.

He said 4 to 6 months after the second dose, the immunity provided by the vaccine starts diminishing, and therefore everyone is advised to receive the third dose. The level of immunity after the third dose is much higher than that after the second dose, and it is naturally much higher than without being vaccinated, Mr Orbán pointed out, adding that he himself received the third dose, has not caught the virus so far, and it is to be hoped that if he does it will not knock him off his feet.

He stated that if everyone had been vaccinated, there would be no fourth wave, or if there were “it would only be a little wavelet”. There will be no fifth wave if everyone has themselves vaccinated, and “we won’t be able to avoid the need for everyone finally having themselves vaccinated,” he stressed.

The Prime Minister said he does not criticise anti-vaccination advocates because he understands that everyone has the right to decide about their own lives in the spirit of personal freedom. However, now the cause of our troubles is that not everyone has been vaccinated yet, and by delaying vaccination, the unvaccinated are extending the duration of the epidemic.

“In the end, however, everyone will have to have themselves vaccinated, even those who are against the vaccine will realise that either they will have themselves vaccinated or they will die,” he pointed out, asking everyone to take advantage of the opportunity.

He said next week there will be a vaccination campaign throughout the country, people will be able to have themselves vaccinated without prior registration at 101 vaccination points between 7.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.

He took the view that “you can’t take people to be vaccinated with a police escort,” “only realisation will help in the end”. In his view, people who are opposed to the vaccine must be convinced: they have no reason to have any less faith in the coronavirus vaccine than in the vaccines they received in childhood such as the vaccine against mumps or measles.

He also said according to the government’s expectations, a professional opinion about whether or not children aged between five and twelve years can be vaccinated will be available sometime in mid-December, and if they receive “a positive answer” parents will have the possibility to have their children falling into that age group vaccinated.

He said in Hungary 10 million vaccine doses are available, meaning that they are able to vaccinate everyone not only for a third, but also for a fourth time. He took the view that vaccination is well-organised, and the experiences of the previous waves of the pandemic help with the adoption of their current decisions on the fight against the epidemic.

He observed that they introduced a ban on the termination of employment both in law enforcement and health care, “no one is happy about this,” but the situation is such that everyone must realise that at times like this people working in certain lines of profession cannot leave their jobs. He said they will open the Kiskunhalas epidemic hospital if “a major problem sets in” or if there are too many patients in a hospital in any part of the country.

The Prime Minister also said more than 80 per cent of members of the public support the reduction of fuel prices.

He said “we’re waging a war with the Left on the issue of the reduction of household energy prices,” and this has now been extended to the issue of fuel prices. So far, they had left the fixing of fuel prices to the market, and while it is best if the government is not required to intervene, there are situations when they must, he explained.

He took the view that “we can’t just sit back and watch as prices rocket sky high,” and if according to every expert prices continue to remain high for several weeks or months, then they have to respond. High fuel prices increase not only the cost of the operation of vehicles, but push all prices up, he pointed out.

He said if there is an extraordinary situation, there is no room for extra caution. They made the necessary calculation to determine the maximum burden that market players can bear, and they decided that that point was at HUF 480, “we slammed the brakes on there”.

According to Mr Orbán, the Left have always demanded market household utility prices. “We take the view that there should be fixed prices, rather than market prices as regards services that fall within the sustenance of households,” and as regards fuel prices, if the market is unable to solve problems, the government must intervene, knowing that any such intervention is only temporary, he stated.

He said the government will decide at the beginning of next week about rescuing small businesses “from under the weight of higher energy prices” and they, too, will be allowed to pay the lower retail prices.

The Prime Minister said Brussels bureaucracy “vomits blood” at the sight of the reduction of household utility prices because in Brussels multinational companies dictate.

He took the view that while the government is on the side of the people, the Left are on the side of multinational corporations. He added that people have their opinion about the fact that according to the Left, household energy prices should be reduced by using less water, electricity, gas and fuel. “At times like this, there is a word in Hungarian that people tend to use, but out of respect for mothers they refrain from saying it out loud,” he observed.

Regarding the GDP growth, he said it is not the Hungarian economy that is responsible for the fact that growth this year will not be 7 to 8 or even 10 per cent. It is the modus operandi of the world economy – in particular, bottlenecks in the supply chain in the automotive industry – that had a detrimental impact on Hungary.

He stressed that the economy is doing well enough for young people under the age of 25 to receive exemption from the payment of the personal income tax, while in mid-February the elderly will receive their entire 13th monthly pensions.