Hungarian experts travel to China to inspect vaccine

"We were able to see what we wanted," said Ferenc Lukács, the head of the institute’s authority control department, who confirmed production was taking place in a modern factory and under safe conditions.  [Shutterstock/Chinnapong]

The production processes of Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccines were inspected in Beijing by experts from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Food and Health (OGYÉI), state news agency MTI reported on Saturday.

“We were able to see what we wanted,” said Ferenc Lukács, the head of the institute’s authority control department, who confirmed production was taking place in a modern factory and under safe conditions. 

Hungary has “practically” come to an agreement with Sinopharm, which could mean up to one million doses on first delivery after national regulatory authorisation, chief government spokesperson Gergely Gulyás said on Thursday.

A petition to prevent the authorities from using Chinese vaccines that have not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be launched, the opposition party Democratic Coalition (DK) said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has slammed the EU’s joint procurement efforts. “It is not due to our vaccination capacity but to the lack of vaccines that we cannot give more shots,” the PM said during his weekly radio interview on Friday, wondering if EU leaders made a “good call” when they decided to jointly procure vaccines. 

(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)

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