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Rollout of Chinese Covid vaccine begins

February 25th, 2021

As family doctors start inoculating hundreds of thousands of Hungarians with the Chinese anti-Covid vaccine, a liberal news site finds government communication on the Sinopharm vaccine confusing, while a pro-government outlet praises the jab.

Family doctors throughout the country were each asked to provide a list of 55 patients to be inoculated with the Chinese vaccine this week. They consulted their patients over the weekend, to find willing candidates for the Sinopharm jab. The Democratic Coalition has begun collecting signatures against the deployment of the Chinese vaccine.

On Telex, Dániel Bocsó and Sándor Joób quote doctors who feel concerned about the Chinese jab. The authors recall that the Russian and the Chinese vaccines have been received with strong reservations by the opposition because they were authorised in Hungary without impartial studies to prove their safety and efficiency. Such data have since emerged about the Russian Sputnik jab and the authors admit that they are satisfactory. No data is available, however about how the Chinese vaccine affects people over 60 or those suffering from chronic diseases, they add. The inoculation manual issued by the authorities doesn’t follow the usual pattern, they write, and list a series of potential side-effects and contraindications that many find disquieting. However, Telex concludes, quoting an expert, this might be the fault of those who wrote the manual, rather than of the vaccine itself.

In an unsigned column, Origo tries to quell misgivings about the Chinese vaccine, 5 million doses of which will arrive in Hungary by the end of the second quarter. Origo enumerates encouraging data about its use in China itself and in the United Arab Emirates, indicating an efficiency rate in preventing Covid infections in the range of 79 to 86 per cent. The pro-government news site also refers to a Chinese study suggesting that the Sinopharma vaccine offers effective protection against the new strains of the virus as well, including the South African variant.

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