Government Must Make COVID Vaccine Free for All!

jegyzetcover11„We demand that when the safe and usable COVID vaccine is available, the government provide the vaccine free of charge to all Hungarian citizens who request it,” Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi announced at an online press conference on Friday.

As a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Public Health he added that MSZP expects the government to already guarantee that the vaccine will be free of charge. Ujhelyi pointed out that Slovakia had already pre-ordered millions of vaccines and aims to provide them to the population free of charge. He also recalled that the Greek and Serbian governments have already made similar announcements.

„The European Commission has recently ordered more than 400 million vaccines from nearly half a dozen large pharmaceutical manufacturers, which means that joint procurement process will take place, and the Hungarian government must also play a role in this. We expect to be informed: on the basis of what scenario and with what sort of schedule does the Hungarian State intend to provide people with the safe vaccine,” said the MEP of MSZP, urging more active participation of the government in European anti-pandemic co-operations.

Ujhelyi added that MSZP, as a social democratic party, is a committed supporter of the establishment of the European Health Union, because in their opinion safe and fair healthcare for all European citizens – including all Hungarians – can only be guaranteed if a European guarantee system obliges Member State Governments to ensure fair conditions, respect for healthcare workers and patient safety in ways that meets minimum requirements.

The MSZP politician recalled that he first raised the concept of the European Health Union more than a year ago, when many still doubted its feasibility. Ujhelyi reminded that since then, the S&D Group in the European Parliament was first to adopt the program it had developed, and then it had become an important pillar of the Public Health Strategy adopted by the EP, and most recently President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stood behind the concept in her State of the Union Address.

The MSZP politician added that another important milestone of success was the recent adoption by the European Parliament of additional documents calling for a European Health Union and minimum quality standards, such as the EP resolution on EU coordination of health assessments and risk classifications and a parliamentary document on the shortage of medicines.

Budapest – 25/09/2020

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