Hungary could return to ‘normal life’ by summer if Chinese vaccine is approved, PM Orban says

Hungary could return to ‘normal life’ by summer if Chinese vaccine is approved, PM Orban says

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said the country could lift Covid-19 restrictions by summer once the Chinese-made vaccine is cleared for use. Hungarian officials have complained that the EU vaccine rollout is too slow.

“If we keep up with procurement of vaccines in Brussels, we will be able to lift restrictions in the end of summer, or in autumn. If the Chinese vaccine will be right [for us], then maybe we can get our lives back to normal before summer,” Orban said.

The PM expressed hope that the country’s drug controller will give a “clear answer” in a few days whether a vaccine from China could be used for mass immunization.

The Hungarian government said on Thursday that it had reached a deal to buy BBIBP-CorV vaccines, developed by the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto earlier said he was dissatisfied with the vaccine rollout by the EU. “Everyone expected, based on the faith in Brussels, that the vaccination will be launched at a tremendous rate in the EU,” he said, adding that the inoculation numbers were lagging in comparison to the “great pace” of the vaccination campaigns in Britain, the US and Israel.

This has simply created a scandalous situation, especially since the European Commission has for many months been constantly attacking countries like us, that wanted to buy the vaccines from other sources.

Orban voiced similar complaints on Friday, saying that only 1 percent of the EU’s population has been vaccinated so far, as opposed to 4 percent in Britain. “We don’t have to point to Brussels any longer, we’re trying to get the vaccines elsewhere,” the PM stressed.

The PM said 105,728 people have been vaccinated in Hungary so far, and the process was not moving faster because the country did not “not have enough vaccine.”

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FILE PHOTO. © REUTERS / Tingshu Wang
Hungary has agreement for China’s Sinopharm vaccine, says minister, despite Brussels warning against non-EU procurement

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