Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said speeding up coronavirus vaccination is in Hungary's national interest.
The foreign minister told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio that the accreditation of vaccines falls under the purview of experts of Hungary’s pharmaceutical authority rather than politicians or parties. Currently, nearly 100 people with coronavirus infection die every day in Hungary, while the loss incurred by the Hungarian economy comes to HUF 10-15 billion (EUR 29-45m) daily.
Regarding the agreement to import Russian vaccines, which was signed on Friday, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary will receive enough of Sputnik V to inoculate one million people.
The minister compared the race for vaccines to last spring’s rush for ventilators, protective gear and masks. Now, “the whole world is trying to buy safe and effective vaccines,” he said. The vaccines, however, are only available in small quantities and manufacturing is lagging, he said. Meanwhile, people are dying and the restrictions threaten jobs every day. The question is whether the vaccine will be available quickly or only in a few months in large quantities, the minister said.
Photo credit: koronavirus.gov.hu