The Orbán government has decided to green-light the use of all coronavirus vaccines that have been used to inoculate over one million people worldwide and were accredited for emergency use elsewhere, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said on Thursday.
Hungary’s public health authority will continue to assess all vaccines imported to Hungary, he told a regular online press conference.
Due to the lagging procurement procedure, vaccines bought by the European Union will not suffice for mass inoculation, Gulyás said. Hungary is working to achieve the 70 percent inoculation rate set by the European Commission as soon as possible, he said. However, it will also need vaccines from other sources, such as the British AstraZeneca, Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines, he said.
Gulyás noted that the EU has yet to approve AstraZeneca, even though it has been in use since December.
Regarding Sputnik V, Gulyás said the Hungary’s pharmaceutical authority approved the vaccine after a “thorough, two-month review”. Sputnik V is safe and was manufactured using cutting-edge technology, he said. Germany, he added, is currently looking to approve it. Hungary has contracted enough Sputnik to inoculate 300,000 people, he said.
Sinopharm has proven to be very effective, as 15 million people worldwide have already been vaccinated using it, Gulyás said. Serbia is already using the vaccine to inoculate its citizens, among them ethnic Hungarians, he said.
Meanwhile, Pfizer has delivered 13 million doses to the US, 2.7 million to Israel and 8.5 million to the European Union, he said, an amount which he said was too small for effective protection.
Featured photo illustration by MTI/EPA/Yuri Kochetkov