If all goes well, Hungary’s own national vaccine, with a capacity of 20 million doses per year, could begin production towards the end of next year, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said at the laying of the plant’s foundation stone in Debrecen, Eastern Hungary.
“We will make sure that the factory can be expanded if necessary and made suitable for the production of various types of vaccines,” Palkovics said, noting that domestic development and production capacities will be built in Debrecen, which will enable Hungary to receive and adopt new production technologies in short periods of time, making successive generations of vaccines as they become available
László Palkovics pointed out that this is not an unprecedented enterprise, as human vaccines had been produced in Hungary for almost a century, until the 1990s, However, the privatization of the pharmaceutical industry largely abolished this activity.
Palkovics added that last year, at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, the lack of protective equipment and the difficulty of procurement drew attention to the fact that “in such a situation we [Hungary] can only count on ourselves”.
Though Palkovics did not mention which vaccines Hungary will manufacture, earlier press reports said Hungary was in advanced negotiations to produce the Russian Sputnik V vaccine under license and in separate talks with Israel for the construction of a joint vaccine plant.
Title image: MTI/Zsolt Czeglédi.