The production of the domestic coronavirus vaccine will start in Debrecen at the end of next year, the Minister of Innovation and Technology announced at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Hajdú-Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
László Palkovics said that according to the government’s decision, a National Vaccine Factory and a National Coronavirus Vaccine Factory will be established specifically for the production of vaccines against Covid-19, in the latter the vaccine under development will be produced in cooperation with the University of Debrecen (DE) and the National Public Health Center.
According to the head of the ministry, the domestic vaccine resulting from the work of Hungarian scientists and specialists would certainly be surrounded by greater public trust than any imported product.
The total cost of the investments is expected to be HUF 55 billion, of which the coronavirus vaccine plant will cost about 6.7-7 billion. In order to speed up construction and start production as soon as possible, the government has declared the issues of administrative authority related to the implementation of the investment to be of high economic importance, the minister added.
Based on the lessons learned from the coronavirus epidemic, the government is working to strengthen Hungary’s self-sufficiency and reduce its foreign exposure, the head of the ministry said.
“From the point of view of health policy and national security, the safe supply of the Hungarian people can be guaranteed from domestic development and production,” said the head of the ministry, emphasizing that in order to minimize Hungary’s exposure, the government decided to establish a national vaccine factory.
He added that the new production and development base, research and production potential can be realized in Debrecen, based on the scientific and research experience of the university, and it is an important expectation that the products will be competitive on the international market as well.
László Palkovics stated that the vaccine factory will be developed by the economic company established for this purpose by the University of Debrecen, the factory will remain university-owned. Approximately HUF 17 billion in budgetary resources will be provided for this year’s tasks.
In addition to producing its own vaccine, DE is also preparing to acquire, develop and market know-how in additional vaccines, he said.
László Palkovics also briefly mentioned that the strategy for the further development of domestic private health care will soon be completed at his portfolio “in order to increase the quality of services and better access to them”.
“More regulated cooperation with the publicly funded system, the introduction of professional minimum conditions is also in the interest of patients,” he said, noting that strengthening the role and transparency of the sector in the national economy could significantly promote economic growth.
By the end of 2022, there will be a Hungarian vaccine against the coronavirus, confirmed Zoltán Szilvássy, Rector of DE, at the press conference.
He indicated that they are inactivating the virus with conservative technology, of which four liters are already available and are beyond animal testing.
The professor added that they will also be able to adapt quickly to variable pathogens, and will be able to follow new mutations in a month with future production.
The rector mentioned as a special feature that not only antiviral but also antibacterial vaccines will be produced in Debrecen. According to him, the “Hungarian covid factory” will be able to supply not only the country but also the population of Central and Eastern Europe with vaccines.