The first shipments of China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Hungary this month, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s chief of staff.
The company will supply enough doses to vaccinate 250,000 people each month through April, Gergely Gulyás said during a briefing Friday.
The country completed a deal for the Chinese two-dose inactivated coronavirus vaccine in January. Hungary also received the first doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine this week, and Orbán said earlier in the day that it plans to start using them as early as next week.
The prime minister used the occasion to criticize the EU’s vaccination strategy for “progressing slowly” and focusing on getting vaccines at low costs.
“It was important for the Brussels bureaucrats that we get vaccines as cheaply as possible, which is understandable, because they will be attacked — if there will be attacks — on whether they were prudent enough in their financial bargaining on vaccine procurement,” Orbán told state-owned Kossuth Rádió.
“But for us, who are not Brussels bureaucrats but Hungarians … the money is not irrelevant, but secondary compared to life,” he continued. “So if we have to choose [between] fewer vaccines more slowly and cheaply, or quickly and many but more expensively, then we choose the latter.”
“And this perhaps is not as obvious in Brussels as it is here, in Budapest, in this studio,” he added.
This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email [email protected] for a complimentary trial.