VIENNA, November 19. /TASS/. The first samples of the Russian coronavirus vaccine have been delivered to Hungary for clinical trials, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced on Thursday.
"A sample of the Russian vaccine has been delivered to Budapest. Now, it is turn of Hungarian experts - they can start research to make their best grounded decision," the minister wrote on Facebook.
On November 13, Szijjarto announced that Russia was preparing to supply a batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Hungary for clinical trials. According to him, this will allow the Hungarian health authorities to understand whether they can start using this vaccine in the country. Also, one of the Hungarian pharmaceutical companies received technical documentation from Russia to launch local production of the Russian vaccine. That means that Hungary may become the first country in the European Union to organize the production of the Russian vaccine.
On November 6, Stefan de Keersmaecker, the European Commission spokesperson for public health, said that in case of emergency an EU country may exceptionally carry out a limited procurement of vaccines without European certification. However, a week earlier Eric Mamer, Chief Spokesman for the European Commission (EC) said that Hungary would be allowed to buy the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine only if it is certified in the EU.
On November 19, Reuters reported citing the European Commission that Brussels is concerned about Hungary’s plans to import and possibly use Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
On August 11, Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine named Sputnik V, which was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry. The injection passed clinical trials in June-July. The vaccine is based on an already known platform that was used to create a number of other injections. The Russian Health Ministry underlined that judging by the experience of using such vaccines, they are capable of providing a long-term immunity for up to two years. The post-registration trials of Sputnik V began in Moscow on September 7, volunteers received the first vaccine already on September 9. Overall, the trials include 40,000 people, 10,000 of them had placebo instead of the vaccine.