Innovation & Technology

Hungary’s COVID test used to develop coronavirus vaccine

The development of a Hungarian vaccine against the coronavirus will be based on its newly developed COVID test.

Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, said that the Hungarian healthcare system had been prepared for self-sufficiency while Europe could not supply all countries at the time during the epidemic. 

Hungarian research on the virus has been very successful, he added, and Hungary has started mass-producing the new test. The minister hopes that Hungary will have an accurate diagnostic tool developed according to World Health Organization (WHO) standards as well as a therapy based on it once the second wave reaches Hungary. 

As part of the research, a biobank was established where various subspecies of the coronavirus spreading in Hungary are collected to determine their type, quality and concentration. He noted that the coronavirus has a wide range of clinical manifestations and the course of the disease varies in severity; thus, the levels of antibodies produced in patients also vary.

Based on this research, it is now possible to detect the presence of the antibody, its concentration and the concentration required for protection. 

Hungary also plans to set up a national vaccine factory to ensure the country has a safe and independent supply of vaccines; it will produce both obligatory and optional vaccines.

When the first coronavirus infection appeared in Hungary, research began on several fronts: for the development of a rapid test and vaccine and into the application of existing therapies. According to Kásler, Hungary’s epidemiological measures were always two to three weeks ahead of other countries, so Hungary was able to keep the number of infections low.

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