Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, asked European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides in a letter on Friday to facilitate publication of the European Union’s agreements with coronavirus vaccine producers and the timeframe of vaccine shipments.
In his letter, published on Facebook, Gulyas said that Hungary’s vaccination programme was being implemented “in a disciplined and scheduled manner”. He noted that Hungary was using Chinese and Russian vaccines, too, and over 1.2 million people had received their first shots.
He wrote that in order to maintain public trust,
the government had published its agreements with Russia and China,
including details of volume and shipping schedules, but added that “this information is not available for Hungarian citizens in the case of vaccines procured by the EU”. He insisted that the “Hungarian public is entitled to be fully informed about the content of the contracts, especially about the delivery schedule”.
Gulyas said the Hungarian government was “convinced that in these difficult times, all decision-makers must act with the greatest possible responsibility and care, not only at national but also European level …
we have to work closely together and support each other”.
As we reported before, Hungary’s government announced on March 11 that they would make their contracts on procuring the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines available for the public by Friday. They called then the European Union to allow publication of European Commission contracts too.
Brussels “banned” the publication of those contracts, Gergely Gulyás told a regular news conference on Thursday. He added that he had turned to the “commissioner responsible” to allow member states to make the EC’s vaccine contracts also publicly available. On the country’s vaccination plan Gulyás said
“the Hungarian government will be able to have everyone vaccinated in the first half of the year”,
and will therefore order vaccines for the second half only if “it is absolutely necessary”.
The vaccines contracted so far would suffice to inoculate one-and-a-half times more people than the entire population of Hungary, he said. “We have ordered everything slated to arrive in the first half of the year, and passed on some [vaccines] which would only be delivered in the second half, especially towards the end of the year,” he said, adding that the EC’s “claims” on the issue were “untrue and therefore unacceptable.”