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A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed to Euronews that Hungary will participate in the EU’s third vaccine purchase contract with Pfizer/BioNTech. Back in May, the government said there was no need to buy more Pfizer vaccines.

Despite saying in May that there is no need for more Pfizer vaccines, in September the government was already lobbying Brussels to allow the company’s vaccine to be made accessible, according to Euronews. The case may have been urgent because of the need to vaccinate 5-11-year-olds, as no other company’s products have been approved for this age group.

Viktor Orbán said in his usual Friday morning radio interview that vaccination of children could start soon, as the first shipment of the vaccine for 5-11-year-olds will arrive in Hungary on December 20. The European Medicines Agency approved Pfizer’s vaccine for this age group on Thursday. The ampoules contain a third of the dose for adults and have the same ingredient. The Hungarian prime minister also said that two million vaccines had been purchased.

Hungary Prepared to Vaccinate Under-12s after EMA Approval of Pfizer Jab
Hungary Prepared to Vaccinate Under-12s after EMA Approval of Pfizer Jab

Parental consent is required for the vaccination of those under the age of 18.Continue reading

May: Hungarian government did not ask for more Pfizer vaccines

The EU’s latest and third round of vaccine purchases took place in May, with Hungary the only country not participating. Back then, the government announced that Hungary would not participate in further EU vaccine purchases because there are enough vaccines available and Pfizer’s prices are considered high. At that time, it was agreed with Pfizer that member states would be able to call up 1.8 billion doses by 2023. This included an ampoule for children, as well as modified vaccines for adults against different variants. Member states are not able to order any of the vaccines for children or those against mutations from the second round of vaccine purchases. According to Euronews, the Hungarian government was already aware of this in May when they did not agree to joint procurement.

Yet Gergely Gulyás, head of the prime minister’s office, said that the Hungarian government will order the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11-year-olds at the government briefing on November 11, in response to a question from Telex. He did, however, point out that the latest Pfizer purchase (from which Hungary had indicated its opt-out) was actually only for the supply of adult doses.

“If there will be [vaccines] for children, we have already applied for it. We’ve applied for everything we don’t have an abundant supply of.”

PM Orbán: Government to Prolong National Vaccination Campaign
PM Orbán: Government to Prolong National Vaccination Campaign

"We can have a big family Christmas this year" only if the number of those taking booster shots grows significantly, he said.Continue reading

November: Hungary is back in the contract

As Euronews reports, shortly after the decision was made in May, the Hungarian government realized that it would be necessary to participate in EU procurement.

Spokesperson of the European Commission, Stefan De Keersmaecker, said:

I confirm that Hungary has entered into the third EU vaccine supply contract with BioNTech/Pfizer. For further details, I suggest you contact the Hungarian authorities.”

Viktor Orbán’s radio statement on Friday morning suggests that Hungary would not only take Pfizer for children next year but also adult doses. Orbán said two million vaccines would be needed, and that many doses would probably not be needed to vaccinate children, Euronews reports.

Source: Euronews

Featured image via György Varga/MTI