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Chinese vaccine will pull Hungary ahead of EU, PM says | Updated: 2021-02-13 15:36
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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks as he arrives to attend a face-to-face EU summit amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Brussels, Belgium on Dec 10, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Hungary will be able to vaccinate millions more people against the coronavirus by the end of May than other European countries with similarly sized populations due to its plans to use a vaccine made in China, the Hungarian prime minister predicted in a radio interview on Friday, AP reported.

"If we start using the Chinese vaccine, which will happen soon, then by Easter we can vaccinate every person who has registered so far," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, referring to the nearly 2.5 million people who have signed up to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the country of nearly 10 million.

"As things stand now, that will be 6.8 million people by the end of May or beginning of June," Orban continued.

"If we compare Hungary's vaccination plan with the European situation, then Hungary can vaccinate 3.5 million more people by the end of May than a European country of the same size and population. I think this is huge."

Orban's government has criticized the pace of the European Union's vaccine rollout and in recent months sought vaccines from countries outside the bloc's common procurement program.

A government decree streamlined Hungary's vaccine approval process by allowing any vaccine administered to at least 1 million people worldwide to be used without undergoing review by the country's medicines regulator.

Hungarian health authorities last month approved the jab developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, making it the first country in the European Union to do so.

The country is set to receive its first shipment of Chinese vaccines by the end of the month, according to previous reports.

- Agencies via Xinhua

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