Hungary has the world’s worst mortality but continues to bet on Chinese vaccine

With more than 26,000 deaths, or 2,719 per million inhabitants, Hungary has presented, since Thursday April 22, the worst “performance” in the world in terms of mortality due to Covid-19. Even if international rankings should be taken with caution due to the lack of a harmonized accounting method, the country passed the Czech Republic that day. The two central European states are far ahead of France, which has posted 1,562 deaths per million inhabitants since the start of the epidemic.

These bad figures have started a slight decline in recent days, but Hungary also still has around 200 deaths per day with more than 7,000 people hospitalized.

Despite this, Friday April 23, Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban decreed the end of confinement and the reopening of the café terraces on Saturday. Denouncing “An indecent debate by the opposition” on the mortality figures, he explained that they would be due to the fact that “Hungary does not distinguish between people who died directly from the Covid and those who died from the Covid”.

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The Prime Minister prefers to insist on the figures of the vaccination campaign. With 3.5 million Hungarians who received their first dose, the country of ten million people has a vaccination rate of 40% of its adult population, the second in Europe. “We are in a very good position”, praised Mr. Orban on this subject by announcing that public places would be reopened to people vaccinated from the middle of the week.

“Science no longer counts”

This very good position is largely due to the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, which Hungary has decided to import without waiting for European authorization, just like the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. “Oriental vaccines », The authorities do not stop praising them in the face of “Western vaccines” (Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen) authorized by the European Union (EU), but systematically denigrated for their slowness.

The effectiveness of Sinopharm has, however, been questioned from China to neighboring Serbia, where immunology researchers at the Belgrade Institute for Nuclear Energy Application have established that with this vaccine “Antibodies take much longer to appear [qu’avec les autres], two or three weeks after the second dose ‘.

But the Hungarian power and the media at its command completely ignore these doubts. “All vaccines are effective”, repeated Mr. Orban, Friday, accusing those “Who question their effectiveness” to be “Anti-vaccine”. “Sinopharm is better than Pfizer and Sputnik V is the best of all vaccines”, even defended his chief of staff, based on partial and unscientific data supposed to show that there would be fewer deaths among vaccinated “eastern” Hungarians.

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