The use of Sinopharm vaccines on Hungary’s elderly does not make sense to Ernő Duda. The virologist is not surprised about Budapest’s large-scale antibody testing showing that the Chinese vaccine does not provide immunity in many elderly people above the age of 60, since the documentation of the vaccine made it clear that it was primarily tested on younger, healthier men. The Hungarian government has voiced its confidence in all vaccines currently in use, asserting that some journalists and politicians are attempting to create distrust in certain vaccines for political gain.
Ernő Duda is a vocal critic of Hungary’s use of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. The renowned virologist openly favors Pfizer-BioNTech’s jab, describing it as “the most cutting-edge and effective vaccine.” He has previously compared the technology of the two, saying that the difference between them is the same as the difference between a propelled biplane and a fighter jet.
Virologist Not Surprised by Sinopharm’s Antibody Performance
Duda told Hírklikk that if an elderly person does not have an appropriate level of antibodies after two vaccinations of Sinopharm, they should not receive a third vaccination, but should instead be given two shots of a different vaccine.
If someone has gotten Sinopharm thus far, they should either be given Sputnik or Pfizer. If Sputnik did not work for someone, they should receive Pfizer. If Pfizer did not work, they should probably be given one of the vector vaccines.”
Duda brought up that the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI) saw that the documentation of the vaccine “clearly stated that Sinopharm was tested on healthy men under the age of 60 in Arab countries.”
Furthermore, the recently published results of Budapest’s large-scale, non-representative antibody testing did not contain anything surprising for Duda. There may be even more precise information than the capital’s finding that Sinopharm did not provide adequate antibodies in 23.9 percent of volunteers above the age of 60, he said.
Semmelweis or Budapest: Government Denounces Capital’s Results
There was only one day between the publishing of both Budapest and Semmelweis University’s antibody tests involving more than one thousand people. While both tests have interesting results, the political elements behind them are receiving special attention.
Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás denounced the capital’s antibody testing as completely unreliable, vouching instead for Semmelweis University’s results. Gulyás seems to reject the idea that Sinopharm could be less effective than any other vaccine, instead providing people with a “96 percent greater level of immunity against the virus.”
The “examination” conducted by the capital is only suitable for tricking people, not for measuring immunity. The study by SOTE [Semmelweis] proves that 88 percent of people Gergely Karácsony had mistaken of lacking immunity are actually immune.”
Head PMO: Certain People Creating “Distrust in Vaccines”
In the government’s press conference on Thursday, Gulyás stated that all Covid-19 vaccines Hungary uses are effective, and that it continues to be one of the safest countries in Europe against the virus.
There are, according to Gulyás, “those working to create distrust in vaccines,” who are putting people at risk of dying by discouraging them from getting inoculated. The government considers such efforts “extremely harmful,” and Gulyás called on politicians and journalists to “accept the findings of science.”
According to the minister, the government evaluated the state of the pandemic, concluding that Hungary’s situation “continues to be the best.” He brought up the state of preparedness, with Hungary retaining its second place in Europe with regard to its ratio of fully inoculated residents, while the country is able “to inoculate anybody at any time.”
There is a possibility that Hungary will begin providing third coronavirus vaccinations, but whether Ernő Duda’s idea of providing two shots of different vaccines will become a reality seems uncertain.
Featured photo illustration by Péter Lehoczky/MTI