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The Hungarian government reached an agreement to buy “large quantities” of the Russian vaccine against covid-19 Sputnik V, as announced this Friday, despite the fact that this drug has not yet been authorized by the European health authorities.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who is in Moscow on a visit, made the announcement in a video posted on his Facebook account, although he clarified that he will report “the details later.”
The Hungarian regulator authorized the use of that vaccine this week, while Budapest criticized the “slowness” of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the vaccine approval process.
At the moment, the European Union (EU) has only authorized the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Before the end of the month, he is expected to announce his decision regarding AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, which is already being administered in the UK.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, with a sovereign spirit, expressed his impatience on Friday, a day after the 27 met by videoconference to discuss the matter.
“We will have to face the fact that something is not right in the EU,” he said during his weekly radio interview.
“If there is no vaccine from the European Union, let’s take it from another side. It cannot be that Hungarians die because of that,” added the leader, who usually maintains a tense attitude with Brussels.
Russian authorities have submitted an application for the EU registration of Sputnik V, which Moscow says is more than 90% efficient, but the EMA has not yet begun to study the demand.
The vaccine, which led to criticism when it was approved in August 2020, has been administered to more than 1.5 million people, according to Russia.
“Hungary is the first EU country to realize the benefits of Sputnik V,” Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Sovereign Fund (RDIF), which funded the development of the vaccine, said in a statement Thursday.
On the other hand, Hungary also ordered a million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, and is waiting for the Hungarian inspectors, who are currently in Beijing, to authorize it.