Small quantities of coronavirus vaccines could arrive in Hungary already this month, but mass vaccination can start in 2021, a National Public Health Centre (NNK) official said on Monday. According to the Prime Minister, frontline healthcare staff will be inoculated in the first phase, followed by patients with chronic illnesses.
Ágnes Galgóczi, head of the epidemiology department, told a press conference that Hungary had contracted 17.5 million doses of vaccines from various manufacturers. The licensing procedure of the vaccines is continually being monitored, she said.
Since Pfizer’s vaccine is most likely to be approved by the European Medicines Agency the soonest, it will be the first product to be used for mass vaccination in Hungary, she added.
Orbán: First doses of vaccines expected in late December
Hungary’s operative board coordinating response to the epidemic has prepared a national vaccination action plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in parliament on Monday, noting that vaccination will be voluntary and available free of charge.
In the first phase, frontline health-care staff will be inoculated, followed by patients with chronic illnesses, he said.
“Every life matters; we have concluded a contract with every serious vaccine producer,” the prime minister said.
Current coronavirus regulations must, however, be maintained until vaccinations can begin, he said.
featured image illustration via Attila Balázs/MTI