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DK calls on government not to 'test' Russian vaccine on Hungarians

Hungary takes delivery of Russian vaccine sample

A sample of Russia's coronavirus vaccine has arrived in Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday. Hungarian scientists will now begin examining the vaccine so that they can make an informed decision on its usage and approval, the minister said on Facebook.

Today it is clear to everyone that only a vaccine will provide the best and most effective solution to the pandemic, Szijjarto said.

“Therefore the government is making every effort to make the best, safest and most effective vaccines available to the Hungarian people . from as many sources as possible as quickly as possible,” he added.

Szijjarto noted that Hungary is the first European country to have received a sample of Russia’s vaccine.

Russia delivered 10 doses of the vaccine, making sure to keep their temperature at -18 degrees Celsius during shipping, Szijjarto said. The samples will now be moved to laboratories where the Hungarian authorities will have an opportunity to study them and make an informed decision on “their potential usage and approval”, he added.

The lab tests on the samples will get under way once Russia sends the full documentation on the vaccine, the minister said.

“This is also in progress and will arrive shortly, and then Hungarian experts can begin their analysis,” Szijjarto said.

DK calls on govt not to ‘test’ Russian vaccine on Hungarians

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on the government not to conduct “human experiments” on Hungarians with Russia’s coronavirus vaccine.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, DK spokesman Balazs Barkoczi cited Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto as saying that Hungary was set to become the first European country to receive a sample of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine. “This is no accident, given that no other country would ever consider conducting experiments on its own citizens,” Barkoczi said.

“Researchers around the world are saying that not even they would want to be administered a vaccine that has never undergone mass trials and not just because several Russian test subjects ended up contracting the virus despite receiving the vaccine,” he said.

Barkoczi warned the government not to “want Hungary to become a testing lab of Vladimir Putin’s Russia”. Hungarians should only be given a vaccine that has been approved by the European authorities and whose effectiveness and potential side effects are known, he added.

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