BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s foreign minister on Monday said the country is moving forward with testing on a Russian coronavirus vaccine after being the first in Europe to receive samples of the drug last week.
Peter Szijjarto says 10 initial doses of Sputnik V – the drug hailed in August by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine – would undergo testing in Hungary for safety and effectiveness. Szijjarto announced last week that negotiations are ongoing between a Hungarian drug manufacturer and Russian partners on possible domestic production of the drug.
Sputnik V has not completed advanced clinical trials and has not yet been assessed by the European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s medicines regulator. The vaccine has already been administered in Russia to healthcare workers and other high-risk groups.
Szijjarto says Hungary is also in negotiations with three Chinese vaccine makers, and purchased 2.8 million doses of a Chinese antiviral medication.
The central European country has also reserved 12 million doses of vaccine from manufacturers in Europe and the United States, including British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Belgium-based Janssen and the joint U.S.-German vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech.