Hungary in talks with China, Russia and Israel to buy COVID-19 vaccines


Hungary is in talks with China, Russia and Israel about buying COVID-19 vaccines, according to the government's website, as the country reports record new COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The website said foreign minister Peter Szijjarto spoke with his Russian counterpart on the phone and they agreed to "stay in contact" about potentially purchasing a vaccine.  

In a Facebook post on Monday, Szijjarto noted that with vaccine testing already in phase 3 in Russia and China, there could easily be a chance to buy vaccines from those countries within a few weeks or months.  

He said Hungary also got in touch with Israel, where vaccine development is also underway.  

Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state news media that the country could receive its first shipment of vaccines in late December or early January, and mass doses of two or three different types of vaccine are expected to arrive in April. 

As of Friday, Hungary has reported over 90,000 new COVID-19 cases and more than 2,000 deaths.  

China has 13 COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials, with four in phase-3. Nearly 60,000 people have been injected with China's COVID-19 vaccines and no one has reported severe adverse reactions. 

A dozen countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Peru, have been testing Chinese vaccines in phase 3 trials. The UAE and Bahrain have approved the emergency use of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine for frontline medical workers. 

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