Hungary Recognised Potential For Vaccine Distribution Woes Early, Says PM Orbán

  • 16 Mar 2021 11:06 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Hungary Recognised Potential For Vaccine Distribution Woes Early, Says PM Orbán
The only reason why Hungary has enough coronavirus vaccines “is because an alarm went off in our heads in November, and we entered into talks on [purchasing] other vaccines” in addition to those approved by the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview with Kossuth Rádió over the weekend.

Orbán said Hungary had received criticism for this from both the Hungarian and international left, when its foreign affairs and epidemiological experts “should actually be applauded for having recognised the trouble early on and making timely decisions”.

Hungary has ordered a total of 13 million doses of Western and 3.5 million doses of Eastern vaccines, enough to inoculate 16.5 million people, Orbán said, explaining that Hungary also had to be prepared for the possibility of vaccine shortages beyond the border.

“This way 16.5 million vaccines are enough to inoculate the global Hungarian population,” he added. Orbán also said Hungary was developing a coronavirus vaccine of its own and building a vaccine plant in Debrecen, in the east.

Hungary has also reached a deal with Israel to build a factory in that country, allowing it to become self-sufficient when it comes to vaccine production in a year’s time. He noted that Hungary had access to the most types of Covid jabs of all countries, adding that it was in the EU’s top league in terms of the inoculation rate.

Concerning the timeline for a potential reopening of the country, the prime minister said the biggest question was whether the vaccines currently in use would be effective against future mutant variants of the virus.

“If the answer to that is ‘yes’, then we can reopen soon, but if the answer is ‘no’ then we find ourselves in a completely new situation,” he said.


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