Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sputnik etc.: it seems like few days ago that we were looking forward having a vaccination available. In reality, just two days ago, on the 8th june, exactly 7 months have passed since the first person in the world received the Pfizer Covid-19. After it, all the countries, including the Eu states, started a mass vaccination programm, in order to hit as fast as possible the Corona virus and give the chance to the world population to go back into a normal life.
Among these, also Hungary, which is, surprisingly, one of the countries with the highest number of vaccinated people. Till the 7th of June, 5.261.781 people, corresponding to the 52% of the population has received already the first jab, 36%, instead, has been fully vaccinated. In Europe, just Great Britain did better: 75% of the adult population already got the first jab.
However, not everyone can be easily vaccinated. Despite the government announcing the opportunities for vaccination at the beginning of May, only those who holds a special hungarian health card, called Taj, can easily book an appointment and get the first jab. For them, including those who had already the virus and so received a special Immunity Card, it is now allowed to sit inside coffee places and restaurants or participate to any other kind of event. A pridvelege that is making feel all the Taj-not holders, including european volunteers, excluded.
Being a foreigner during covid19
Living in a foreign country has never been easy. When you go to a new country, in fact, you are giving out part of the pridveleges you acquired being a citizen in your own country (for example, your health insurance). At the same time, going abroad can pose several challenges and bring everyone, sooner or later, the feeling of a real "culture shock" . However, every year millions of people are migrating from their own country for different reasons. According to the United Nations, in 2015, the number of international migrants reached 244 million. In 2020, 280.6 million were living abroad.
Number of foreigners in Hungary
Talking about Hungary, the number of people coming from abroad is lower if compared to other countries, such as Germany, which is considered really attractive especially because of the job opportunities. Following the migrationdataportal, 15.8 millions of internationals are living in Germany. However, also Hungary has its own community of internationals. For instance, according to the official website, in 2020, the 2% of the total population (in numbers 199957 people), was composed by foreigners (9 769 526 millions). Between them, especially students (the amount passed from 11,783 in 2001, till 38,422 in the 2019/2020), but also people seeking a job or european volunteers. Most of them comes from borders country such as Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, but also from China, Iran, Usa etc.
As you might guess, living in Hungary can be quite difficult since most of the population don't speak english. Another problem can be generated by the prejudices. According to the Statistic by Eurobarometer, Hungary was one of the few Eu member states where discrimination has increased, compared to the last survey in 2015. However, one of the good things about being a student, a volunteer or a worker in Hungary is that, as many other countries, the magiar land provides universal healthcare, which is quite a fortune especially during covid19 time.
That means, in fact, that everyone, including foreign residents and tourists, can access to Healthcare First aid and emergency care for free. This is a big result, especially if we compare it with other developed countries, such as USA, where even emergency care requires a certain amount of money. For all other operations, theoritically you should be able obtain medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), when you are temporarily staying in Hungary. Or if you are employed in a company or a student with a scolarship, you can apply for a social security number, Taj Kartya. Despite the fact the everyone should be able to get any other treatment just with the European Card, in the practice, holding a Taj Card, still gives more pridveleges. This is visible especially in the case of vaccination.
Healthcare First aid and emergency care for free
As we said, especially at the beginning, Hungary was pretty lucky, since not a lot of the population got hit by the virus. With the second and the third wave, the governement found it necessary to shut off all the services and introduce a curfew, in order to control the spread of the virus. Moreover, despite the non approval from the Ema, it also decided to buy China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines. Thanks to it, few months after the roll-out of the vaccination, which started the 26th of December 2020, Hungary has become one of the countries with the highest percentage of population vaccinated: more than 5 millions (more than the half of the population) have already received their first jab.
However that doesn't mean that the vaccination is now available to all. The E-health hungarian service, in fact, still cause several problems to those who are not holding an hungarian health insurance (Taj Card), even if European citizen. Despite the governement announcement that everyone, including those that are not untitled of a Taj Card, could get vaccinated, in most of the cases only people with Taj number have been vaccinated so far. The reason is mainly technical. Since the beginning of may, in fact, the official website allowed to register without Taj; the EESZT application, instead, hasn't yet been updated and so, it stills requires a social security number in order to get an appointement.
What to do?
In this case, the solution is to wait till the mid of june, when the governement will hopefully solve the problem or, if this is not possible, all the people who are not holding a Taj Card, including also european volunteers, can try to go to hospitals and other cliniques in the afternoon and hope to find some leftovers, a try who succeds just in few cases, since in some hospitals, nurses and doctors still require for the Taj Number, even though the vaccination should be available now to all. However, there is still a bit of hope can be found through some facebook groups, where hungarians or other internationals suggest hospitals where to go, in order to find some leftovers.
Why is it so important to get vaccinated?
Concluding, there are several reasons for which being vaccinated is important: one of these is that it can really be a life change, especially in Hungary. Here, since the beginning of May, in fact, only those who got already the covid19 or got vaccinated and thus could register for an immunity card which certificates it can go indoors to a coffee place, hotels, theaters, cinemas, spas, gyms, libraries, museums and other restaurants, or participate to any other event. The problem is that if, at the beginning this solution was though in order to grow the willingness of people for the vaccination, it's now making feel a part of the population excluded.