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Hungary in talks with Americans, Japanese, Chinese, and Russians on vaccine

Hungary is in talks with the Americans, the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Russians concerning COVID-19 vaccines, and it has already contributed to the European Unionʼs program to develop a vaccine, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview with commercial broadcaster TV2, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

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Orbán noted that the European Commission expects a vaccine to become available by the first half of 2021, at the latest, while the Americans believe a vaccine could be developed by year-end.

He said Hungary would acquire COVID-19 vaccines when they are developed and make them available to any Hungarian who wants them. 

Orbán welcomed rating agency Moodyʼs decision on Friday to change the outlook on Hungaryʼs sovereign rating to positive from stable but said his focus remains on workplaces. 

"If there is work, if there are workplaces, then there will be growth and good credit ratings," he said.

He summed up the governmentʼs policies with the words "tax cuts, investments, developments".

He said the state could make hires or add to the number of fostered workers as a last resort. He conceded these options are not ideal, but "put bread on the table" and "are better than nothing".

He said fostered workersʼ wages would have to be raised in the coming year.