As Europe grapples with vaccine distribution, Hungary has become the first European Union(EU) country to approve the Chinese coronavirus vaccine Sinopharm.
Hungary is expected to order 500,000 doses of the vaccine. The country had approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine last week. Hungary’s drug regulator earlier had approved Britain’s AstraZeneca as Budapest strives to lift coronavirus lockdown to boost the economy.
Hungary completed the vaccinations of medical professionals and begun inoculating the elderly.
PM Viktor Orban said the country will begin administering the general population from next month.
Several countries in Europe including Spain have halted administering vaccines as the doses have finished with Pfizer under fire from the EU to distribute more vaccines. Spain is one of the worst-hit country in Europe with over 2.7 million cases and over 57,000 deaths.
According to Spain’s health ministry, the country has administered just over 78.9 per cent of the 1.76 million vaccines received as part of the EU’s vaccination plan with shortages set to continue.
Meanwhile, the WHO said vaccine manufacturers were working to plug shortfalls in supplies.
“Solidarity does not necessarily mean that each country in the world starts (vaccinating) at exactly the same moment … The good understanding is that no one is safe before everyone is safe,” Hans Kluge, WHO director said.
“The reality is there is a shortage of vaccines…we don’t doubt that manufacturers and producers are working 24-7 to bridge the gap and we’re confident the delays we are seeing now are going to be made up by extra production in the future,” Klunge added.
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