Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Hungary signs letter of intent to produce Chinese Sinopharm shots

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Doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen at a restaurant in Kragujevac, Serbia, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

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BUDAPEST, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Hungary's government has signed a letter of intent with Sinopharm executives to develop the required infrastructure within the next 10 months to produce the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Hungary has said it plans to produce Sinopharm's jab and a locally developed shot in a new vaccine plant.

The agreement will enable the Hungarian facility to respond quickly to any possible new coronavirus variants by way of information sharing with Sinopharm, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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The government has earmarked 55 billion forints ($186 million) to build the plant that is expected to make Hungary self-sufficient in vaccine production from the end of 2022.

As of Friday, Hungary registered 814,732 COVID-19 cases with 30,086 deaths. In all, 5.54 million people, more than half of the population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the government said.

($1 = 295.61 forints)

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Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Edmund Blair

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