Friday February 26, 2021

Hungary concludes massive COVID-19 vaccine deal with Russia

Published : 23 Jan 2021, 00:19

  DF News Desk

Photo provided by Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) shows the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia, Aug. 6, 2020. Photo RDIF/Handout via Xinhua.

Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday that his country's government had concluded an agreement with Russia on the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines sufficient to inoculate one million people, reported Xinhua.

"Hungary has bought two million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Russia," Szijjarto said on Facebook following his meeting in Moscow with Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart.

He explained that the vaccine shipments would arrive in three stages: doses for 300,000 people in the first month, half a million in the second, and 200,000 in the third.

The first delivery is expected within one month, he said.

Szijjarto described the agreement as a great step forward. The arrival of vaccines from other sources in Hungary is slow, while COVID-19 kills 100-150 people each day in the country.

On Thursday, Hungary's regulator authorized the use in the country of Russia's Sputnik V and Britain's AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

Hungary is the first European Union (EU) member state to give the green light to the Russian vaccine.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 15.