Despite calls from health professionals, teachers, parents and students for the government to postpone full attendance education, Fidesz has only partially listened to the voices of stakeholders and the opposition: from tomorrow, kindergartens and junior schools will reopen.
It is obvious that the government is trying to take into account social and economic reasons as well as epidemiological ones, and as a policy-maker I can understand that. At the same time, it is clear and obvious that if the government had a normal, open and constructive approach to the matter, social dialogue on such important issues would be much more effective and easier. Unfortunately, however, Fidesz is unable to shed its arrogance, condescending talk and superiority complex. Even at a time like this. While one day they are saying that, contrary to what everyone else thinks and asks for, there is no risk whatsoever in reopening schools and holding graduation exams as normal, yet in less than twenty-four hours they are already deciding to cancel oral graduation exams, and then, a few days later, to keep school students at home. Total chaos.
I am a father of six, a militant social democrat and a pro-vaccinationist. There is no need to prove the latter, only the most despicable claim and the most ignorant believe the opposite. Some of my children, ranging from older to very young like the pipes of organ when lined up, are graduating from high school, some are in middle and primary school, and some are in kindergarten; that is why we pay close attention to covid news.
Now, when primary schools and junior schools reopen tomorrow, it is difficult to make a responsible and good decision about whether to allow your child back into the community, as the epidemic is still taking nearly 300 people a day, the number of infected people is still sky-high and experts say that the current virus can cause serious complications with young children. The situation is still not a game. Mature, credible and responsible government decisions would have been needed so far, too, but perhaps even more so at this critical time.
The fact that many of our fellow citizens have already received their first vaccination, and some their second, is a cause for optimism; but it should not lead us to be careless. In the coming weeks, thanks both to joint EU procurement by European governments and to shipments from the East, vaccines will be arriving in massive quantities. At the same time, there have been a number of medical publications on the possibility that the Chinese vaccine may be less effective than expected, and there have also been professional question marks over the so-called ‘Western’ vaccines.
The Hungarian government has said that there is no financial limit to protection, so there should certainly be no obstacle to the state providing free antibody testing for all vaccinated Hungarian citizens, roughly on the 20th day after the first vaccination, but only with (blood) tests that provide a reliable result. In connection with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, several medical experts have already suggested that antibody testing with 500-600 vaccinated people could provide reassuring proof of the efficacy of the vaccine and could dispel the doubts that have now arisen.
However, my personal view is that this antibody testing should be carried out under state coordination not only for the Chinese vaccine but for all vaccines currently used in Hungary. This would both reassure the Hungarian public, which is burdened with doubts, and provide a sound basis for the government deciding on the lifting of restrictions, as well as providing valuable medical information for researchers.
Not to mention the fact that it would increase the willingness to get vaccinated more than anything else. I do suppose that with a pro-vaccination government, I am knocking on an open door with this proposal, right??
dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament