Hungary: Baton raised, orchestra conductor gets vaccine shot

Aug 26, 2021, 4:01 AM | Updated: 4:05 am

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A Hungarian orchestra conductor received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot onstage during a free open-air concert in Budapest on Wednesday as part of an effort to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Budapest Festival Orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer removed his jacket to reveal a white dress shirt with a hole cut out of the sleeve. As he kept his baton moving and the orchestra played on, a doctor administered the shot, Fischer’s third dose, to applause from the crowd.

The carefully choreographed action was an attempt to “further raise awareness of the need for vaccination” in Hungary, the orchestra’s managing director, Orsolya Erdodi, said.

“Vaccination can give us the chance to live and work in a normal way of life again, just as we did before the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

Hungary has enjoyed a comparative summer reprieve from the COVID-19 pandemic after a devastating spring, when the country for a time had the world’s highest number of virus deaths per capita.

While confirmed cases and deaths are down, the vaccination rate also has slowed dramatically. Hungary was an early vaccination leader, using doses from Russia and China as well as ones procured through the European Union to conduct one of the EU’s fastest immunization campaigns.

More than 32% of the Central European country’s adult population has not received a first shot amid stubborn vaccine hesitancy. Many other European countries have since overtaken Hungary’s vaccination rate.

Hungary’s chief medical officer has described a recent slow uptick in cases as the beginning of a “fourth wave,” dominated by the highly transmissible delta variant.

With the threat of another surge in cases looming, the Budapest Festival Orchestra decided to make a push for vaccines and vigilance against the coronavirus.

Fischer, a frequent champion of progressive social causes, not only received his booster shot, but members of his prestigious orchestra took rapid COVID-19 tests on stage Wednesday as the music played on.

“Further vaccination and testing are the most important thing in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to maintain a normal life and to allow people to go to concerts,” Erdodi, the orchestra’s managing director, said.

After reports emerged in July that China’s Sinopharm vaccine, which Hungary uses, may provide poor protection to older adults, Hungary became the first country in the 27-member EU to offer booster shots to individuals who want them.

As of Thursday, 240,000 people in Hungary had received a booster jab.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A construction worker pauses at a building site, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in Boston. America's empl...
Associated Press

An unexpected job surge confounds the Fed’s economic models

WASHINGTON (AP) — Does the Federal Reserve have it wrong? For months, the Fed has been warily watching the U.S. economy’s robust job gains out of concern that employers, desperate to hire, will keep boosting pay and, in turn, keep inflation elevated. But January’s blowout job growth coincided with an actual slowdown in wage growth. […]
10 hours ago
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, speaks with European Council President Charles Mic...
Associated Press

EU prepares more Russia sanctions; Kremlin readies offensive

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The European Union will unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a senior official from the bloc said in Kyiv on Friday, as Ukrainian forces gird for an expected Russian offensive in the coming weeks. The sanctions […]
10 hours ago
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivers her State of the State address on the opening day o...
Associated Press

New Mexico legislators may block local abortion ordinances

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A standoff over abortion in politically conservative regions of New Mexico is looming as Democratic state legislators present a bill that would prohibit local governments from interfering with women’s access to reproductive health care. The initiative from state House Democrats responds to abortion restrictions recently adopted in two counties and […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

NFL will offer free CPR training during Super Bowl week

Inspired by the lifesaving medical attention Damar Hamlin received on the field during a game last month, the NFL and American Heart Association will provide free CPR education in Arizona throughout Super Bowl week as part of the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. Hamlin, the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills defensive back, needed to be […]
10 hours ago
FILE- In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo the logo for Alphabet appears on a screen at the Nasdaq Mar...
Associated Press

Big tech roils markets after shaky quarterly performances

Wall Street has its eyes on big tech after some of the biggest companies in the world posted lackluster quarterly financial performances. That included Apple Inc. The company posted its first quarterly revenue drop in nearly four years after pandemic-driven restrictions on its China factories curtailed sales of the latest iPhone during the holiday season. […]
10 hours ago
Protesters gather in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. As the Iraqi currency co...
Associated Press

Iraqis protest in Baghdad as currency crisis continues

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi protesters rallied Friday in Baghdad, demanding the government take action to stop the economic crisis and the slide of the national currency after the Iraqi dinar plunged further. Measures taken by the United States in recent months to stamp out money laundering and the channeling of dollars to Iran and Syria […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Hungary: Baton raised, orchestra conductor gets vaccine shot