The third batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines that Hungary had purchased arrived here on Wednesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto confirmed on his Facebook page.
"Another 100,000 Chinese vaccines arrived from Beijing on Wednesday," Szijjarto said in a video posted on his page. He added that the Chinese vaccines arrived 43 days earlier than the deadline agreed upon, allowing people in the country to get vaccinated earlier.
"We gain 43 days. We gain lives and health," he said. Szijjarto also underlined that the government plane that brought the vaccines would not rest in the coming days. It would soon head to China again to bring hundreds of thousands of vaccines to Hungary.
Szijjarto also warned that the pandemic was raging at "full steam." "We must adjust our defense accordingly," he said.
"This means we need vaccines and these have to be administered to the population," he said, adding that the sooner the vaccines arrive, the quicker doctors can deliver them to the people.
The first batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines purchased by Hungary arrived in Budapest on Feb. 16, while the second batch arrived on March 11.
The Hungarian government has been supplementing its vaccination program with Russian and Chinese vaccines to fight the third wave of the pandemic in the country. So far, Hungary has gained access to vaccines from five producers, namely Sinopharm, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V.
Hungary, the first European Union member state to buy Chinese vaccines and authorize their use, started to administer the Sinopharm vaccines on Feb. 24.
The Hungarian government on Wednesday reported 3,456 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour span, raising the national total to 532,578.
In the past 24 hours, a record number of 195 people have died from the disease, taking the toll to 17,421 in the country, while 359,061 have recovered.
Currently 10,284 patients are being treated in hospitals, according to figures from the government's coronavirus information website.
As of Wednesday, 1,397,342 people had received at least one shot of a vaccine, while 406,746 had two jabs, according to the website.