Hungary was allowed to buy the Russian coronavirus vaccine with one condition: it will not be able to circulate in the European Union. This was stated by the representative of the European Commission (EC) Stefan de Keersmaker, quoted by Interfax.
According to Keersmaker, EU countries can use the special approval procedure for the drug, but only on their own responsibility. The EC representative recalled that vaccines produced using biotechnology must pass the control of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
On November 27, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Hungary, Peter Siyjarto, said that it may take up to one and a half years to deploy vaccine production in the country. He noted that if it takes so much time, then the Hungarian authorities will concentrate on purchasing the Russian drug. Siyjarto added that the first shipments of Sputnik V will arrive in Hungary as early as December this year.
Hungary's decision to purchase the Russian vaccine became known at the end of October. At the same time, the European Commission warned Budapest that if any of the EU countries purchases a foreign vaccine that has not passed certification, measures will be taken. They noted that vaccines developed by Russia or China will never become part of the EU's vaccination strategy.
To date, two vaccines against COVID-19 have been registered in Russia. The first drug to be registered was Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Center. On October 14, President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of EpiVacCorona from the Vector Center. There is no biological agent in the vaccine – it contains synthetic analogs of viral protein regions.