Orbán said Hungary is in a position to obtain a Chinese vaccine in large quantities but first the Hungarian health authorities must approve it. He added that hopefully the authority would provide a clear response within the next few days.
“We’re unable to move faster with inoculating people not because Hungarian health care is incapable of carrying out mass vaccinations rapidly but because we have a shortage of vaccine supplies,” Orbán said in an interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Radio.
He noted that so far 105,728 people have been vaccinated in Hungary, whereas post-Brexit Britain has already vaccinated some 4 percent of its population.
“The vaccination rate in the EU is below 1 percent due to the fact that there are not enough vaccines here,” Orbán said.
“Now, in times of trouble” the task is to obtain a vaccine instead of “pointing a finger at Brussels”, he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said that it appeared the second wave of the epidemic had been reined in and recoveries outnumbered new infections. At the same time, he referred to a “third wave” in other parts of Europe as “bad news”.
Orbán said confidence among Hungarians concerning vaccinations was steadily growing. Soon, more than than 1.7 million people over the age of 60 with chronic illness will receive the vaccine, he said, adding that vaccines would be in plentiful supply once approval were given for the Chinese vaccine. He said vaccination of around 1.5 million people was possible in a single weekend.
Referring to a request by Stella Kyriakides, EU commissioner for health and food safety, that member states should not negotiate separately with vaccine manufacturers, Orbán said that more than hundred Hungarians were dying every day. “A Greek commissioner shouldn’t tell me what to do,” he said.
He said would be possible to get “our old lives back” long before the summer if the Chinese vaccine were approved.