Hungary starts administering China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine

Hungary became Wednesday the first EU country to begin vaccinating against coronavirus with a jab made by China’s Sinopharm.

“Today, we are starting the vaccination with Chinese batches,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a message on Facebook.

Hungary is the only EU country to have approved the use of the vaccine, on January 29, and has ordered a total of 5 million doses.

The country recently sent its state plane to Beijing, China, to collect its first shipment of 550,000 doses. Hungarian experts have also examined the manufacturing site of the state-owned enterprise’s vaccine.

One toxicologist, however, has raised concerns about its use in Hungary. In an online presentation, Gábor Zacher said there’s a broad group of patients who shouldn’t receive the vaccine, including those with an “unstable chronic disease, or an acute flare-up of a chronic disease, or a history of hypersensitivity,” he said, as reported by Index.

“It’s a big basket,” Zacher added.

Sinopharm has developed two COVID-19 vaccines. They’ve both been administered to higher-risk groups in China for several months under the country’s emergency vaccination program.

One of the vaccines was approved for public use in China in December, while the other was filed for a license today, according to Reuters, along with a vaccine from China’s CanSinoBIO.

It’s not clear from reports which of the two Sinopharm vaccines Hungary is using.



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