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Government ready to purchase vaccines beyond EU procurements

The government considers the European Union's procurement and supply of vaccines coordinated from Brussels to be too slow and inadequate in volume, so it is ready to turn elsewhere to purchase vaccines, the government information centre said on Thursday.

The government is ready to provide the financial resources for the acquisition of additional vaccines, and has commissioned Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to oversee the procedure, the centre said in a statement.

In line with a government decree, the government’s aim is to procure as much safe vaccine as possible under the current extraordinary circumstances of supply and demand, the statement added.

Hungary has made orders for 19.7 million doses of western vaccines from various producers, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen and CureVac, but so far only Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been given approval by the European Medicines Agency.

Between December 26 and January 12, four shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were received by Hungary, including enough vaccine to inoculate 129,860 people. The majority has already been taken up at hospital vaccination points, and elderly care homes are now the focus of jab programmes, the centre said.

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