Hungary to authorise AstraZeneca, steps closer to Sputnik vaccine

Russian medic holds Russia's Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac vaccine against the coronavirus COVID-19 at the vaccination point at the State Department Store GUM in Moscow, Russia 19 January 2021. [EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV]

The Hungarian authorities have authorised the AstraZeneca and Russian Sputnik V jabs, making Hungary the first in the EU to start vaccinations with these products, pro-government online outlet Origo reported.

Speaking about the Russian vaccine, Mátyás Szentiványi, head of the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition told public television channel M1 that licensing is usually a long process, but this has now been completed in just over two months. The institute issued a temporary permit for the jab to be valid in Hungary for six months, with the possibility of renewal once for another six months.

Authorities are now waiting for the opinion of the National Public Health Centre, which is expected to take a few weeks.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not yet been authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) but could be by the end of the month. The Russian sovereign wealth fund financing the jab said Wednesday that Moscow has applied for registration of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the European Union, though EMA noted in a statement that “currently Sputnik V is not undergoing a rolling review.”

According to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, the Russian side has already sent the draft contract, which could be the basis for the delivery of the vaccine to Hungary, Telex reported. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov |

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