Hungary’s National Center for Public Health on Sunday greenlighted the Russian-produced Coronavirus vaccine, namely Sputnik V, for use in the country.
Hungarian Human Resources Minister Kasler Miklos wrote in a Facebook post that the Hungarian medicines watchdog has completed the “official tests for Sputnik V vaccination, which found that the vaccine was in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and can be applied immunobiologically.”
The country now has four vaccines available to fight against the virus, as it has already given the nod to jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford University.
In November, Hungary became the first EU country to receive samples of the Sputnik V vaccine for research, prompting an outcry by Brussels. The European Union has warned Budapest against damaging trust on the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
Russia’s vaccine is not included in the EU’s vaccine portfolio, as it has faced acute criticism over its fast-track approval that skipped the third phase of trials. Under EU rules, any vaccine must be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before it can be marketed in any state of the 27-nation bloc.
In January, Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacology and Food Safety completed a review of the Sputnik V vaccine documentation and greenlighted the preliminary approval of the Russian-backed jab. The final decision on its use would be made by the country’s National Center for Public Health.