The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) is launching a petition against allowing inoculation in Hungary with a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the spokesman for the party’s parliamentary group said at an online press conference on Saturday.
The government has “apparently decided” on mass inoculation in Hungary using a Chinese vaccine that has not been scrutinised by the EMA and that has uncertain effectiveness, Zoltán Varga said.
“This is obviously dangerous and irresponsible,” he said, adding that the step not only puts human lives in danger but could undermine the “already shaky” confidence in coronavirus vaccines.
Varga said DK wants to prevent the “government propagation” of the Chinese vaccine from reducing willingness to get inoculated and is launching an online petition on Saturday with the statement: “I protest against the inoculation in Hungary with a Chinese vaccine that has not been reviewed by the European Medicines Agency”.
On Friday, the party said the Orbán government should not “give political instructions to its own authorities” in connection with licencing a Chinese coronavirus vaccine for use in Hungary.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said earlier in the day that the government could obtain a large amount of the Chinese vacccine if it obtained a licence in Hungary. He said he hoped that the public health authority would “provide a clear response within days”.
Gergely Arató, the deputy group leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition insisted that Orbán had taken “the most dangerous path” which suggests that he “wants to make his authorities issue a licence” for a product not approved by the European Medicine Agency.
“Orbán, acting as the country’s number-one vaccine expert, has declared the vaccine to be safe and issued a political instruction to the authorities to licence it,” Arató said, adding that Hungarians should not be inoculated with a vaccine of “dubious efficacy” that has no European licence.
In the featured photo: Zoltán Varga. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI