Over 1 million Hungarians have received either the Sputnik-V or the Sinopharm vaccine, neither of which has been authorized for use by the European Medicines Agency as of today. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has adopted the position that only those inoculated with EMA-approved vaccines will be automatically exempt from testing and/or quarantine requirements when traveling within the EU.
While they have been shown to be safe, the two vaccines have not yet undergone the authorization process of the EU, writes Forbes. Sputnik-V might soon join the ranks of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen, as it is due to be examined by the EMA from the 10th of May onwards, and if all goes well, it will be approved by early June. As for the Sinopharm vaccine, there is no word yet on an EMA certificate, but the WHO is expected to authorize it for use within a couple of days. While the WHO’s stamp of approval is not enough for unrestricted travel within the EU, it does open up new possibilities. Since the EU allows member states to deviate to a certain degree from the common framework,
each country will have the chance to decide whether they are willing to accept additional vaccines as well, as long as they are approved by the WHO.
Greece has already announced that this summer, they are opening their doors to every visitor, regardless of the vaccine they received and more countries are expected to follow in their footsteps.
International travel will not be out of the question for unvaccinated individuals either, as long as they provide proof of having been through the disease or produce a negative test. In this case, they will have the same rights as those with an EMA-approved vaccine.
According to 24.hu, all Hungarian representatives in the European Parliament opposed the distinction between the vaccines, with the exception of the members of the Democratic Coalition who abstained from the vote as a manner of demonstrating their discontent with prime minister Orbán’s “deceit and lies that the Eastern vaccines his henchmen raked together will be worth as much as the Western ones in the EU”.
Meanwhile, PM Orbán has said that those who have received the Sinopharm vaccine should not worry about their travel prospects.
As Index reports, Orbán stated that Hungary would establish bilateral agreements with other countries, just as it has already done with Serbia and Montenegro, allowing anyone with an immunity certificate to cross their borders without any further conditions.
Source: Forbes, 24.hu, Index