Government streamlines licensing procedure for Covid-19 vaccines

Hungary's government streamlined the licensing procedure for Covid-19 medicines and vaccines from countries outside of the European Economic Area in a decree published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Kozlony.

The decree, issued under the government’s state-of-emergency powers, allows the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition to issue temporary licences for such medicines and vaccines for a period of six months. The period may be extended by another six months under extraordinary circumstances.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Government Information Centre noted the importance of keeping “bureaucratic hurdles” from preventing quick access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Szijjarto: Hungary to receive Russian vaccine sample within week and a half

Hungary will receive a sample of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine within a week and a half, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told public broadcaster M1 on Wednesday. The preliminary results show Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik V, is 92 percent effective, the minister said. This is good news for Hungary, he said, noting that the government was in advanced talks on buying the vaccine.

Samples of the vaccine are set to be delivered to Hungary within a week and a half which will then undergo laboratory testing, Szijjarto said.

A small quantity of the vaccine will arrive in Hungary next month for clinical trials before larger quantities are imported in the second half of January, he said.

Hungary and Russia agreed on Wednesday that Russia will compile and send Hungary the necessary documentation necessary for the vaccine’s authorisation by Thursday evening, Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto also said that he is scheduled to hold talks with Russia’s industry and trade minister. The meeting will also be attended by a Hungarian vaccine producer, he said. The company complies with the safety level that would be needed to produce the Covid-19 vaccine but it is still examining whether it can take on the vaccine’s production, the minister said. “We could have an answer by the middle or end of next week,” he added.

Szijjarto said that if a country had the capacity to manufacture a vaccine it would not be at the mercy of others.

The government is still committed to procuring coronavirus vaccines from as many sources as possible in order to ensure the safety of the Hungarian people, he said.

Szijjarto, who has been in quarantine for nine days, said he had experienced every typical symptom of Covid-19 with the exception of pneumonia and a fever. The minister said he had been feeling better recently but was missing his family.

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