In its continued effort to speed up the vaccination of its population during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary has approved the use of two more vaccines, one from China and one from India, the latter manufactured under Oxford/AstraZeneca license, daily Magyar Nemzet reports.
The announcement was made by the National Drugs and Food Health Institute (OGYÉI) in a statement, which said that both vaccines are vector-based ones.
“OGYÉI granted a provisional authorization for CoviShield, a vector-based product developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, similar to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The CoviShield vaccine is manufactured in India using technology provided by AstraZeneca to the Serum Institute of India, based on documentation provided under a license agreement,” the statement said.
“Another option for Hungary in the Canadian-Chinese collaboration is the Convidecia vaccine, developed by CanSino Biologics Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, which is also a vector-based vaccine. The advantage of this preparation is that a single vaccine is sufficient to achieve protection. OGYÉI allowed the vaccine to be received in order for the incoming samples to be tested in the laboratory of the National Center for Public Health (NNK),” the OGYÉI statement read.
The institute’s statement pointed out that “pursuant to the relevant government decree, Hungary has the possibility to use products that have been approved in a state where pharmaceutical production and clinical trials can be considered equivalent to Hungarian regulations (Canada, Australia, United States, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand). The CoviShield vaccine was approved by Health Canada in February. The authorization was based on a comparison with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which concluded that the two products were sufficiently similar to allow the efficacy and safety of CoviShield to be established on the basis of the AstraZeneca vaccine. “
Besides the vaccines ordered through the European Union, Hungary is also using the Chinese Sinopharm and the Russian Sputnik V vaccines. According to the latest statistics, Hungary has the second highest vaccination rate in Europe (16 percent) behind Malta (19.29 percent). Denmark is third with 10.85 percent, followed by Austria (10.83), Slovakia (9.27) and France (9.16).
Title image: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine marketed under the name CoviShield vaccine bottles is seen during a vaccination in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)