Hungary has become the first country in the EU to administer the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against Covid-19 to its population.
“Today, we are starting the vaccination with Chinese batches,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a brief message posted on Facebook.
Using an emergency-use approval, the country has purchased 5 million doses from Sinopharm, which will be enough to treat 2.5 million people.
“If vaccines aren’t coming from Brussels, we must obtain them from elsewhere … One cannot allow Hungarians to die simply because Brussels is too slow in procuring vaccines,” Orban said last month. “It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.”
EU has so far approved three vaccines, the first one Pfizer received approval by the European Medicines Agency at the end of December, followed by the Moderna one in early January, and AstraZeneca’s end of January.
Faced with criticism of the slow rollout, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has admitted her administration made a number of errors in their handling of the supply of vaccines for the EU.
Vaccine uptake for the first dose among adults aged 18 years and above (%) in EU/EEA Member States
The Brussels Times