Hungary will not participate in the EU’s joint procurement scheme but will also forgo ordering Russian or Chinese vaccines in its next order.
“It was a wise and responsible decision by the government not to participate in the second round of EU vaccine procurement”, chief government spokesperson Gergely Gulyás said at the Hungarian parliament’s justice committee’s annual hearing Telex reported.
There are still 10 million vaccines in stock, enough for all third vaccinations, according to Gulyás’s response to a question from Socialist MP László Varga,
The common EU vaccine procurement system, which Gulyás had criticised in the spring, is inflexible, as only a fixed quantity can be purchased. There is a vaccine surplus in Europe anyway, and if extra doses were needed, they could easily be obtained, he added.
Meanwhile, foreign affairs minister Peter Szijáártó said on Monday (22 November) that Hungary plans to skip Russian and Chinese vaccines in its next order of 5 million.
“We are not currently in talks with either Sputnik or Sinopharm about new shipments to Hungary. The next shipment of vaccines will most certainly not include vaccines from the East. Both Sputnik and Sinopharm suppliers have fulfilled the contracts we have previously signed”, Szijjártó told ATV.
According to ATV, 80% of the 10 million vaccines already in Hungary are Western.
Szijjártó added that current negotiations with the Russian state investment fund, which oversees the production of Sputnik, and Sinopharm are limited to the possibility of producing vaccines under licence from these two companies in a future national vaccine factory.
“But there is no negotiation on delivery, there will be no Eastern vaccine at all on the next shipment,” he said.
(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)