Hungary receives more than 120,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines

As it was noted by Hungary's Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller at the press briefing of the Operational Corps today, Hungary has received a shipment of more than 120,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.

This is the 13th shipment of Comirnaty, developed by BioNTech-Pfizer, to Hungary. It was the first COVID-19 vaccine that received conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for the active immunisation of the population of over 16 to prevent COVID-19 infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The first shipment arrived in Hungary on 26 December, after which vaccines have been arriving with a weekly regularity. Including the shipment delivered on 16 March, Hungary has received more than 1.1 million doses from the vaccine, enough for the inoculation of 550,000 people.

The company said in a statement that it had made particular efforts to strengthen and expand its manufacturing capacity in early 2021 in a bid to meet the rising global demand and produce and globally distribute more than two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine this year.

Pfizer has delivered all the doses it contracted for in the first quarter and it will increase the volume significantly in the second quarter, it added.

CMO Cecília Müller said the 120,510 doses delivered today would be used mainly to vaccinate elderly people who had applied for inoculation and those that would have their second jab. On Wednesday, Hungary is to receive 100,000 doses of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm, she added, as the deliveries scheduled for later have been brought forward.

A smaller shipment of AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected in the following days, and Hungary can also free up the previously received 280,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V and 450,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine, as the National Public Health Centre (NNK) has already examined these, said Müller.

When a larger shipment is received, new vaccination sites will be opened, so that none of the doses would go to waste, she added.

The CMO noted that while only 15% of the Hungarian population were willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in November 2020, this ratio was 42.4% two weeks ago and 46.4% last week. 1.6 million people in the 60+ age group have registered for their COVID-19 shots.

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