Hungary will this week begin inoculating people with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, among others, becoming the first European Union country to do so, officials there said Tuesday.
“We will be inoculating using four vaccines beginning this week; vaccination using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is beginning in Budapest,” Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said at an online press conference.
Müller told reporters that 560 general practitioners in Budapest are being asked to select five people each from their respective practices, who will then receive the Sputnik V vaccine at the designated vaccination points. Some 2,800 doses of the vaccine are currently available, and only to those without chronic illness.
Hungary does “not have huge amounts of this vaccine available,” Müller said.
According to a statement from the Hungarian News Agency (MTI), 85,410 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Hungary on Tuesday. A further shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected on Thursday, and 21,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine will also be arriving on Thursday.
Doctors will receive a list of registered people who are eligible to be vaccinated, and vaccination of the oldest patients will be organised at GP’s clinics.
A total of 291,396 people have been vaccinated in Hungary to date, and 110,395 have also received their second shot.
In reply to a question, Müller said the British variant of the virus has so far been detected in 24 samples, but that the Brazilian and South African mutations have not yet been discovered in Hungary.