HUNGARY (Vaccination)

The situation of vaccinations in Hungary
Johann Brunen
In Hungary, the following vaccines are mandated, with
no exemptions available at present.
birth-6 weeks BCG
2 months Hib
3 months DPT I/a + Polio (IPV)
4 months DPT I/b + Polio (OPV) + Hib
15 months MMR + Polio (OPV) + Hib
3 years DPT II + Polio (OPV)
6 years DPT III + Polio (OPV)
11 years (6th grade) DT + MMR
14 years (8th grade) Hep B
The old pertussis vaccine is still being used. Hib and
Hepatitis B were introduced here in 1999.
In addition, the following vaccines are recommended:
Hepatitis A, FMSE (encephalitis from tick bites), flu,

In order to describe the efforts made to ensure that
absolutely every child receives all these vaccines,
some additional information is given below.
Births typically take place at hospital. Independent
midwives outside hospitals do not exist. At hospital,
the first vaccines are given, as a rule, without any
questions. Although regulations do exist that parents
are to be informed about side effects and
contraindications, most health professionals are not
aware of this regulation, but would be highly unlikely
to inform parents. It would be pointless in any case,
since the vaccines must be given. Homebirths or births
in a birthing house are literally unknown. There is
one birthing house in Budapest which was founded by a
dedicated MD, Cgnes Gerzb. Home births are supported
by her. However, an MD who helps at a home birth risks
losing his licence. Cgnes Gerzb has lost hers twice
The country is divided into doctors' districts, each
of which has a clinic where the relevant MDs practice,
where one registers with a doctor in general, and then
these doctors make sure that the mandated vaccines are
carried out. However, since the fall of the Iron
Curtain there are many private practices, so that
those who can afford it no longer depend on these
clinics. The districts employ carers who are
responsible for pregnancy and post pregnancy care.
This as such is a sensible arrangement, however these
carers check that the mandated vaccinations are
followed. So when parents forget about the due
vaccinations, the carers contact them very fast and if
parents still don't have their children vaccinated,
then the health authority will fine the parents with
up to 100,000 Forint (approx. 400 euros), but
typically only 30,000 Ft (the minimum wage is 40,000
Ft). This fine can be imposed several times, until the
child is vaccinated. If the fine is disputed, the
court will only establish that the fine is formally
legal, without establishing the sense or senselessness
of vaccines. However, this takes time. From the moment
they enter school at 6 years (first grade), the
children receive their shots during vaccine drives at
In the whole of Hungary, there is only one institute,
a foundation, which deals critically with the issue of
vaccination (Nyitott Kapu Alap'tyny - Open Gate
Foundation) and has been offering help since 1999. The
members of Nyitott Kapu want to be open for everyone
who deals responsibly with the issue of vaccination,
not only for anti-vaccinators but also for parents who
deem the one or other vaccine unnecessary or too
dangerous (anthroposophical tendency). Their lawyers
recommend the tactic of delay because once the child
reaches his/her seventh birthday, pertussis vaccine
will not be given. If parents manage to get this far,
then only the boosters which are given in 6th grade at
school and the hep b vaccination in 8th grade have to
be avoided somehow. I do not know of anyone who has
managed this. There also used to be an association of
radical anti-vaccinators (G-lya-h'r Egyes Ylett),
however they gave up in 1998, after three years.
Hungarians appear to be very robust people. Vaccine
damages are almost unknown. According to information
of Nyitott Kapu, there has been only one case of
recognized vaccine damage in the whole history of
Hungary. The reaction followed the flu vaccine, which
is only recommended but not mandated. However, the
foundation can document several deaths caused by
vaccinations over the last few years.
Exemptions from vaccination is only granted after
reactions happen. And the exemption is granted only
for the vaccine which was followed by an adverse
reaction. So, if the DPT vaccination is followed by a
reaction, which is likely due to the pertussis
component, the booster will be carried out with DT
only. This exemption only refers to this one child,
not to siblings.
Alternative literature on the problems of vaccinations
is hardly available in Hungarian. One book, by Randall
Neustaetter, was published, but is now out of print.
However, there are plans to publish two books in the
future, one book from an anthrosophical point of view,
by Wolfgang Goebel (vaccination responsibility - bases
for own decisions) and Neil Z Miller's Vaccines: are
theyreally save and evective?).
This is the current situation in this country.