We reported yesterday that a sample of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Budapest. However, the European Commission does not like the idea that part of Hungary’s population would be immunised with Moscow’s vaccine. It seems that the issue will develop into a further conflict between the Hungarian government and the different institutions of the European Union. The European Commission said yesterday that the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine raised safety concerns and could damage trust in potential shots.

According to Reuters, Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s close relations to Russian President Vladimir Putin cause many clashes with the European Union. Now it seems that Budapest is going to have more conflicts with Brussels due to the issue since they would like to use the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to immunise the population. The European Commission said that “Hungarian plans to conduct trials of and possibly produce the Russian vaccine, an unprecedented step for an EU member state,” Reuters reported.

The problem is that the vaccine will not be reviewed by the EMA (European Medicines Agency), only by the Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition. The institution said that no drugs can be administered to any EU citizen without their permission.

“This is where the authorisation process and vaccine confidence meet. If our citizens start questioning the safety of a vaccine, should it not have gone through a rigorous scientific assessment to prove its safety and efficacy, it will be much harder to vaccinate a sufficient proportion of the population,” a Commission spokesman highlighted. The Hungarian government said that

they would not only like to import vaccines from Russia but also produce them in large quantity if the shot proved safe and effective.

According to Reuters, the interim trial results of the Sputnik V were 92 pc effective at protecting people from the COVID-19 respiratory disease. Meanwhile, U.S. firms Moderna and Pfizer showed slightly better results, but they are not ready for mass production. Reuters said that the Hungarian government did not respond to questions on whether it wanted to licence the Sputnik V vaccine at home or through the required EU process.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, said that Russia is ready to share all relevant data with the European Medicines Agency. Furthermore, he said that

the Sputnik V will be trialled and produced in Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates as well.

The EU’s relevant rules allow the use of unauthorised vaccines in emergency cases “in response to the suspected or confirmed spread of pathogenic agents, toxins, chemical agents, or nuclear radiation, any of which could cause harm.” Therefore, Hungary can use even the Russian vaccine despite what the Commission or EU experts say.

The European Union already signed contracts with five vaccine makers to buy nearly 2 billion doses, but negotiations are still going on with other producers. That means that Hungary will receive shots from the EU, but that will not be available in early-2021. According to azonnali.hu, that is why the government would like to import and produce Russian vaccines to win some time.

Source: reuters.com

  1. There is no longer any doubt that the European Commission views itself as being a modern dictatorship seeking control over all aspects of life within those 27 countries of which it is (currently) comprised.

    Brussels has within just 75 years replaced Nazi Berlin as the centre for ruling most of Europe.

    Will it be necessary for Russia to once again save (Christian) civilisation in Europe – this time via its COVID-19 vaccine ?

    No wonder the leaders of France and Germany have been soiling their pants in public.

    Perhaps they should also consider using Russian-made toilet paper to clean up the mess.

  2. The Russians have a successful track record in poisoning people (Litvinenko, the Skripals, Alexei Nevalny, to name but a few). Worth remembering.

  3. Brussels is dictating what medicines can be used by sovereign nation that is a member of the EU. Is the government of Hungary in Hungary or in Belgium?

  4. @Geo Graphy: No member of the EU has full sovereignty, member states have competence is some matters but not all. This was made quite clear when Hungary asked to be and subsequently was admitted to EU membership. So the answer to your question is both. Some matters can be decided at national level, some cannot.

  5. @Justsaying, that is not true. Of course there isn’t a thing as ‘free money’, there are always strings attached. The EU will just take away more and more sovereignty bit by bit, almost unnoticed by the public. I’m from a West European nation, and 85% of the laws come straight from Brussel. We are no longer a democracy, and Hungary will follow in the same footsteps if they stay in the EU.

  6. @H: The European Commission comprises of Commissioners appointed by each member state’s government. These governments are democratically elected and the Commissioners’ brief is to represent the views of their governments. Next is the European Parliament; MEP’s are elected by the electorate of each member state. Thus Brussels, as it is generally known, is throughly democratic.

  7. The citizen atmosphere of Hungary, vibes what I read and in discussion, suggests to me, that if the vaccine of choice is the Russian production, we could experience Mounting civil unrest.
    That at all costs must be avoided.
    If it’s the Russian cocktail – opportunity for Government all stand before the people of Hungary, in front of Parliament Building in Budapest.
    President then Prime MInister and followed by all Government Ministers, sleeves rolled up and be publicly seen being immunized by the Russian vaccine.
    Leading from the front – confirming confidence in the decision, to the people of Hungary, that the Russian mix is the “immediate” saver of Hungary, in the aggressive attack we are subjected to by this novel coronavirus.
    Good vote catcher for 2022 ///

  8. Main and most important issue is the safety of the vaccine. As far as it is known about the Russian vaccine, it has been prepared in a rush and perhaps without the thorough testing and stringent protocols that are the must requirements for a vaccine. Any vaccine that causes more harm or harm to any cohort, say, the elderly, or juveniles, should not be used. These safety issues must be ascertained before approval.. That is the main issue, as well as ensuring that any place that manufactures the vaccine can do it with the right specifications. I doubt that this is a question of sovereignty, unless the vaccine proven safe, with established dosing, and also its manufacture.

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