Clinical trials had indicated that Pfizer's vaccine was 95 percent effective – Photo: MTI

Hungarian authorities review Sinopharm production in Beijing

DK launches petition against Chinese vaccine

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) is launching a petition against allowing inoculation in Hungary with a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the spokesman for the party's parliamentary group said at an online press conference.

The government, Zoltan Varga said, has “apparently decided” on mass inoculation in Hungary using a Chinese vaccine that has not been scrutinised by the EMA and that has uncertain effectiveness.

“This is obviously dangerous and irresponsible,” he said, adding that the step not only puts human lives in danger but could undermine the “already shaky” confidence in coronavirus vaccines.

Varga said DK wants to prevent the “government propagation” of the Chinese vaccine from reducing willingness to get inoculated and is launching an online petition on Saturday with the statement: “I protest against the inoculation in Hungary with a Chinese vaccine that has not been reviewed by the European Medicines Agency”.

Hungarian authorities review Sinopharm production in Beijing

Experts of the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI) have reviewed production of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine in Beijing, department head Ferenc Lukacs told MTI by phone on Saturday.

Lukacs said the experts had conducted a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspection of the facility where the vaccine is made, reviewing the entire production line and obtaining the full documentation on production processes.

“Everything we wanted to see, we got to see,” he added.

Lukacs said the vaccine can be stored at a temperature of between 2 and 8 degree Celsius, making safe delivery “easy to ensure”.

Gergely Gulyas, who heads the Prime Minister’s Office, said at a press briefing on Thursday that Hungary had “practically reached an agreement” on a delivery of the Sinopharm vaccine. He added that the first shipment could be as large as one million doses, pending approval by Hungarian medicines authorities.

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