Hungary Secures EU’s First Deal to Buy Chinese Covid-19 Shot
(Bloomberg) -- Hungary reached an agreement to buy 5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines developed by China’s Sinopharm, becoming the first European Union member to approve and buy the shot.
The country will receive the doses that are enough to inoculate 2.5 million people in four monthly installments, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Facebook Friday, without saying when the first deliveries would be made.
The approval followed a government decree that gives an automatic green light for vaccines already used on at least 1 million people abroad, Chief Medical Officer Cecilia Muller said at a briefing earlier in the day.
Hungary signed a similar deal for 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V last week that was also a first for the bloc. It has also registered a shot made by AstraZeneca Plc earlier than the EU regulator.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been looking to alternative vaccine sources to speed up efforts to tame the coronavirus pandemic amid delays in EU-mandated deliveries, of which Hungary is also a beneficiary.
Hungary is set to use all the Pfizer Inc. shots it has received via the EU by the end of this week after having inoculated 175,283 as of Thursday. Hungary will receive some additional Moderna vaccines on Sunday and a new tranche of Pfizer shots early next week.
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