Independent MP Ákos Hadházy and Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI) have been arguing over the Russian vaccine’s safety and efficacy. While Hadházy believes the authorization process is suspicious, OGYÉI tells the member of parliament to stop using fear-mongering tactics to mislead the Hungarian people. Key medical experts also weigh in on the issue.
Hadházy, an independent member of the national assembly, requested to see the official documentation of the Sputnik V vaccine. The head of the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI), Mátyás Szentiványi, sent him a copy of its license.
The license Hadházy was shown displays the tests the vaccine has completed so far, and those which it has not.
Hadházy said that among the completed tests are the determination of filling volume, Potentiometric determination of pH, Determination of bacterial endotoxin content, and mycoplasma contamination.
The tests, the MP says, have yet to determine the vaccine’s identity, active substance content, residual live adenovirus culture (whether the manufactured virus can spread), and the abnormal toxicity.
Hadházy continued that the vaccine may be 91.6 percent effective, but its manufacturers need to have the capacity to mass produce the same quality for millions of vials.
Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that the remaining tests will be completed over the weekend.
OGYÉI Says Hadházy’s Statements About The Russian Vaccine are Misleading Hungary
OGYÉI’s communications department responded to Hadházy’s Facebook post, saying that he is once again misleading the Hungarian people and putting them in danger.
They wrote that this type of irresponsible fake news endangers the vaccination program and ultimately Hungary’s ability to overcome the virus.
They added that only those vaccines can be put to use which, on the basis of Hungarian authorities’ tests, are effective and safe.
The National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition believes Hadházy made completely inaccurate assumptions around the vaccine since the trials are not yet finished, and the vaccine has not been authorized by the National Public Health Center (NNK).
The organization finished their statement by asking Hadházy to stick to topics in his own, veterinarian field, and to stop “endangering Hungarian citizens’ defense against the pandemic by spreading fake news.”
Hadházy Continues His Argument
Hadházy retaliated to OGYÉI’s statements by saying that they did not even refute the statements that he made regarding the document they sent.
The independent MP believes, regarding the first 6000 vials in Hungary, that OGYÉI had either not tested the Russian vaccine at all, or had gotten rid of their evidence since they did not like the negative results.
Hadházy raised the question of whether the Sputnik V vaccines actually contain the contents written on the labels of the ampoules. He asks that Hungarian authorities prove the contents of the vaccine.
Hungary’s Experts Share Their Thoughts on the Russian Vaccine
Gyula Kincses, head of the Hungarian Medical Chamber, announced on Facebook that his organization cannot recommend any vaccine without access to the official documentation of its Hungarian trials, which the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition has not published.
However, OGYÉI does not actually need to publish such information in order for the Russian vaccine to be put to use in Hungary.
The government has announced that it will allow the use of all coronavirus vaccines which have been used to inoculate at least one million people worldwide, and have been licensed for emergency use elsewhere.
Although the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine is not as transparent in Hungarian trials, it has has proven its trustworthiness among many experts internationally.
A peer-reviewed article in The Lancet, a British medical journal of high regard, shows that the Russian vaccine is safe and highly effective.
Gábor Kemenesi, a virologist from the University of Pécs, also weighed in on the findings of the Lancet article on Facebook and indirectly responded to Hadházy’s speculations, saying:
the data which has been shared, from a scientific perspective, paints the picture of an effective vaccine as it relates to others currently in use. The reliability of the manufacturing process and the assurance of continued quality are the responsibility of the pharmacological authorities which oversee the authorization of the vaccine.”
With its proven efficacy of 91.6%, The Lancet’s support for the Sputnik V vaccine will definitely help its authorization in the European Union.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has ordered two million doses of the vaccine, and says it will be put to use once the remaining tests are completed.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Kovács/MTI