Sputnik Campaign Fails to Launch in Hungary


Hungary’s Kremlin-friendly government published a controversial table this week alleging that the Sputnik V vaccine is 32 times safer than Pfizer’s jab—a claim sharply at odds with other data.



Photo:

Andre M. Chang/Zuma Press

Pfizer


PFE 0.10%

and its Covid-19 vaccine partner

BioNTech

got a shot in the arm from Hungary on Thursday, though some locals were less fortunate.

Local outlet HVG reported that the country’s vaccine registration website crashed when it was thought that a shipment of the U.S.-German vaccine had arrived. A large crowd then gathered at a Budapest hospital only to be told the jabs wouldn’t be available. Hungary’s government has controversially purchased Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, despite it not being approved by European Union medical authorities, and also one from China’s SinoPharm. Hungary leads the world in deaths per capita from the virus. A survey in January by local pollster Medián showed that, of those willing to be vaccinated, only 27% would accept a Chinese vaccine and 43% a Russian one, while 84% trusted a vaccine developed by a western country.

Hungary’s Kremlin-friendly government published a controversial table this week alleging that the Sputnik V vaccine is 32 times safer than Pfizer’s jab—a claim sharply at odds with other data but tweeted by the official Sputnik V account. On Wednesday the EU published a report saying that both China and Russia had active campaigns to sow mistrust in western vaccines and promote their own.

They clearly aren’t working very well.

Write to Spencer Jakab at spencer.jakab@wsj.com

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