Procurement in Times of Corona – Part 2

  • December 28, 2021
  • István

The other remarkable procurement of the Orbán regime is about vaccines. The EU members agreed to purchase vaccines commonly, to avoid being in concurrence to each other, not to enable the richer and larger countries to be in advantage against the poorer or smaller countries. Common procurement and distribution according to the size of population was agreed. The only EU member that did not follow the agreement was Hungary. These days again new, scaring details became public.

End of January this year the situation in Hungary was bad and instead of doing something to limit the spread of the virus, Orbán had one of his great ideas. Of course these ideas regularly work in the disadvantage of the Hungarian people. His idea was to buy a vaccine from Putin. It was Russia that announced as first country in the world having a vaccine against the Sars-Cov-2 virus. When announced it had the little disadvantage not to be tested properly (a small number of guinea pigs tolerated the vaccine well and this is not an exaggeration, but found in the published documents,) while other producers did the testing at that time. Already this gave the vaccine Sputnik-V a very bad start. I personally tend to trust medical decisions over political ones and whatever Putin promises, I don’t trust at all. And no, I am not against vaccination, the opposite is true. It is not at the order now, but if I am travelling out of Europe I consult a specialised doctor and take whatever she advises. That’s where specialists are for! Against Covid I got my 3 shots as advised, and what was important to me, I got an EMA approved vaccine. I mention this, because everybody with this view is called anti-vaxxer by the regime and I personally have been attacked like this, not only on HS, but offline as well.

Those days Hungary had still own rules how to responsibly licence a vaccine in addition to the EMA licensing. The European licence is valid through all Europe, while the member states may do so in case they think to need so, limiting the validly of that licence to the country where it was granted. The UK did so on December 2nd, 2020 when it was still for the rest of the month member of EMA and approved the BioNTech – Pfizer vaccine with a national licence, before EMA did so. Orbán praised the benefits of leaving the EU in this context ►HU, while the UK in fact just applied still today valid EU rules.

Exactly the same rules Orbán decided to use and started to create a national Hungarian approval for Russian Sputnik-V. Hungarian specialists had the duty to check the data and to visit the factories in Russia. The conclusions of them were according to 444 ►HU:
– The visits to the factories were not satisfying for declare that manufacturing happens in an appropriate way.
– Important parts of the data were missing.
– The way the Russians calculated the efficiency was outdated.
Immunologist András Falus told on Klubrádió ►HU that approval happened because of pressure from higher places only. The EMA application is still ongoing, because the Russians didn’t provide sufficient data yet ►EN.

This was a bad experience for the regime and even worse was that the number of available doses was strictly limited as well. Russia experienced the same problems in production as other countries had initially as well. So Orbán decided to purchase another vaccine. Hungarian experts visited the Sinopharm production plant in January 2021 and not less than 14 deficiencies were found. As consequence they refused the needed certification of good manufacturing ►HU. Instead the government changed the rules on January 28th. Annoying parts as checking the testing results or visiting factories to be sure that the production is according to the usual standards are no longer hindering an approval, if approval happened in one country of the EEA (European Economic Area,) or the UK, or in 3 countries as long as among them is at least one EU candidate plus having been used with at least 1 million persons is already enough ►HU.

5.2 million doses Sinopharm were bought through a Hungarian company at a price twice as paid the same time others bought the same product. The other producers, even Russian Gamaleya Institute, closed contracts directly with government agencies, in this case the Hungarian state didn’t buy from Chinese state owned Sinopharm, but from local wholesaler Danubia Pharma instead ►EN. This company doesn’t exist any more, it has been merged ►HU.

The Hungarian Food and Drug authority OGYÉI has been convicted to release data about the approval of these vaccines, but has significantly blackened-out the documents. Transparency has reported this violation of judgement ►HU last week. However, the documents clearly show that both “Eastern vaccines” made no chance of getting licensed, it the valid Hungarian rules before January 28th would have been applied. January 29th Sinopharm got the Hungarian approval.

On his press conference in the Castle Theatre Orbán was asked about the knowledge at time of approval. He answered that “the government knew about that the WHO recognised the Chinese vaccine.” Obviously Orbán made a journey through the time ►HU, because only in May the WHO did so! In the same press conference Orbán talked about the new contract about EU procurement. Just that the EU does not know about any new contract, Hungary just re-joined the contract that has been closed on May 11th, 2021 ►HU.

And what did the Coronavirus Presscentre answer, when asked about the incomplete information given by the OGYÉI? Anti vaxxer campaign! ►HU

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December 28, 2021 12:07

London Calling!

István – I just want to acknowledge here how grateful I am that you have taken on the responsibility of continuing Eva’s blog. Of course what you are doing is an impossible task – but you’re the best we have!

So I am ‘routing’ for you, as we say in cockney London – and I will do anything – or as much as I can – to help you keep it going.

It was around February time, I believe, that Eva asked for a contribution to help with the cost of running her blog – and I always contributed. If you should setup a PayPal button I’m sure some of your ‘club’ would assist too.

Apologies for the O/T (as Wolfi would always say!) but I’ve only just discovered your very welcome initiative.

All strength to your elbow! Or long may your lum reek!



December 28, 2021 18:54

Completely off-topic but since I am currently in Hungary, I thought I’d mention a few things I observed on the street and online:

1) there are billboards and columns with the usual Kormány propaganda. One is about the Covid vaccine but the message is “get vaccinated for your health and so that the country can operate”… It makes you wonder what the priority is: peoples’ health or the economy? The second message is “Hungary is moving forward” but in the corner they added a red tab that reads “not backward”. My wife originally thought this had been added by the Kèt farkű kutya part but it turns out this is the actual message… As if the government had a hard time believing its own slogan.

2) If you watch Youtube, you’ll see very often a commercial about a tv show that uses the characters from Austin Powers but where they replaced the heads of the characters with those of Ferenc Gyurcsány and Péter Márki-Zay nicknamed Mini Féri. Obviously, Orbàn still sees Gyurcsány as the leading opposition politician although my understanding is that MZP clearly does want to be associated with any other traditional politician.

December 29, 2021 08:47
Reply to  István

I had figured that this spot on Youtube was either paid for by the government or some pro-FIDESZ media outlet. In either case it’s public-funded. I don’t watch tv so I don’t know if it’s broadcast elsewhere.

December 29, 2021 10:22
Reply to  theestampe

re-1: “Hungary is moving forward / not backward”
This new propaganda, aka.start of campaign, slogan was “of course” also used in the Xmas “interview” with the myghti lidur, published in all ‘is own private papers, see
comment image

PS: proof that the media is perfectly “checked and balanced” by OV&Co 
note that in a real democracy the media IS DOING the checks and balances!