Hungary starts using Chinese vaccines

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 25, 2021
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A family doctor shows a box of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Varoslod, Hungary on Feb. 24, 2021. [Photo/MIT via Xinhua]

Hungary has started to administer China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, as a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic looms, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Wednesday.

"Today is an important day because (on) this day we are starting to vaccinate with Chinese vaccines," Orban said in a video message on his Facebook page, after a meeting with healthcare experts.

"Officials in charge of the defense against the pandemic will probably also be inoculated" next week, he added.

"The situation is not easy, because on one hand we have more and more vaccines, and therefore the number of vaccinated people will increase, but at the same time, a third wave is threatening Hungary," Orban said.

Therefore, epidemiologists have asked to have as many citizens vaccinated as possible, Orban said.

"It is not possible to talk about easing measures yet, but there is one issue that we will consider: residents of nursing homes -- where more than 80 percent of people are already vaccinated -- suffer a lot from not being able to receive visits and are prohibited from leaving the institutions," he said.

"We want to find some humanly acceptable solution here," he added.

Hungary currently has five vaccines at hand to fend off the virus, including the Sinopharm vaccine. The first shipment of Sinopharm vaccines purchased by Hungary arrived in Budapest on Feb. 16.

The Central European country on Wednesday registered 2,855 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour span, raising the national total to 410,129, according to official data.

In the past 24 hours, 102 people have died from the disease, taking the toll to 14,552 in the country, while 313,450 have recovered. Currently, 4,353 patients are being treated in hospitals, including 407 on ventilators, figures from the government's coronavirus information website showed.

As of Wednesday, 471,004 people have received at least the first vaccine jab, while 208,846 have received two jabs, according to the website.

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