Coronavirus: conductor gets vaccinated during live outdoor performance
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – A Hungarian conductor received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday at a free outdoor concert in Budapest as part of an effort to encourage people to get vaccinated .
Budapest Festival Orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer took off his jacket to reveal a white shirt with a cutout hole in the sleeve. As he kept his wand moving and the orchestra played, a doctor administered the stroke, the third dose of Fischer, to applause from the crowd.
The carefully choreographed action was an attempt to “raise awareness of the need for vaccination” in Hungary, said orchestra general manager Orsolya Erdodi.
“Vaccination can give us the chance to live and work normally again, as we did before the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
Hungary received a comparative summer reprieve from the COVID-19 pandemic after a devastating spring, when the country for some time recorded the highest number of virus deaths per capita in the world.
While confirmed cases and deaths are on the decline, the vaccination rate has also slowed considerably. Hungary has been a leader in vaccination, using doses from Russia and China as well as those purchased through the European Union to conduct one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the EU.
More than 32% of the adult population in the central European country has not received a first vaccine due to persistent reluctance to vaccinate. Many other European countries have since exceeded Hungary’s vaccination rate.
Hungary’s chief medical officer described a recent slow increase in cases as the start of a “fourth wave”, dominated by the highly transmissible delta variant.
Faced with the threat of a new upsurge in cases, the Budapest Festival Orchestra has decided to push for vaccines and vigilance against the coronavirus.
Fischer, a frequent champion of progressive social causes, not only received his recall, but members of his prestigious orchestra took rapid COVID-19 tests on stage Wednesday as the music played.
“Vaccination and further testing is the most important thing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, maintain normal life and allow people to go to concerts,” said Erdodi, general manager of the orchestra.
After reports published in July that the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, used by Hungary, may offer poor protection for the elderly, Hungary became the first EU-27 country to offer boosters for people who have it. wish.
As of Thursday, 240,000 people in Hungary had received a booster vaccine.