Photo: MTI

Opposition urges formation of 'national vaccination commission'

Gulyas denies charges concerning Moderna vaccine purchases

The leftist opposition's claim that the government has not ordered sufficient quantities of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is part of their "hate campaign" against the government, Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said on Facebook.

Citing passeges from the European Commission’s agreement with the producer, Gulyas insisted that shipments of Moderna could not be expected before the third quarter of 2021, when “sufficient amounts of vaccines purchased from other sources will be in place to inoculate the whole adult population”.

Moreover, Gulyas said that “actual deliveries [of Moderna] are even more sluggish than outlined in the agreement”, adding that several other European Union members had similarly given up their option of Moderna.

In reaction to press reports quoting the EU representation in Budapest that the EU does not have direct information concerning vaccine deliveries to Hungary since the country receives shipments from the producers rather than via the EU, Gulyas said that he had his information from an agreement signed by European Commissioner Stelly Kyriakides.

“The Commission, therefore, is aware that the vaccine delivery in question cannot arrive in Hungary before the third quarter,” he said. “Why has the Commission lied?” he added.

Opposition urges formation of ‘national vaccination commission’

Six Hungarian opposition parties on Saturday demanded the creation of a “National Vaccination Commission” to take over control of the vaccination programme from the government.

In a joint statement, the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, LMP, Jobbik, Momentum and Parbeszed called for the establishment of a professional body comprising epidemiologists and representatives of the Chamber of Doctors and local governments to take over the planning and implementation of the vaccination programme.

“[Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán is a failure and Hungary’s government is incompetent,” their statement said.

The parties said the priority was to implement mass vaccinations rapidly and smoothly, and they accused the government of showing itself not being up to the task of doing so.

The statement also said Orbán’s immediate resignation would be in order but saving lives amid the current crisis overrode politics.

The parties insisted that the response of local governments to the epidemic had been faster, more efficient and more humane than the government’s.

They said changing the government in 2022 was a necessity, not just an opportunity, since the post-crisis recovery depended on it.

All efforts must focus in the meantime on protecting Hungarian lives, the statement said, adding that the “democratic opposition alliance” would be ready to work with a national vaccine commission and local governments to implement the vaccination programme.

Leave a Reply