Tue, 02 Mar 2021

BUDAPEST, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hungary have approved Russia's Sputnik V and the British AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, the Hungarian government said on Thursday.

"Hungary is the first European Union country where vaccination can be started with these two vaccines," said the government in a statement posted on its official website, adding that both manufacturers have been in talks on cooperation with the Hungarian government since Dec. 8, 2020.

On Wednesday night, Hungary's National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI) issued a temporary licence for both Sputnik V and AstraZeneca jabs.

"Licensing is usually a long process, but this has now been completed in just over two months, which is a huge achievement," OGYEI director Ivan Szentivanyi informed on public TV channel M1.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 232 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 60 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, the World Health Organization reported on Dec. 29.

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