Hungary's PM receives Chinese vaccine as govt ramps up rollout

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BUDAPEST, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm, Orban announced on his official Facebook page on Sunday as the country tries to accelerate its vaccination programme.

Hungary on Wednesday became the first European Union member to start inoculating people with Sinopharm shots after rolling out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine as well, even though neither has been granted approval for emergency use by the bloc.

"Vaccinated," Orban said, with photos of him receiving the shot and a doctor showing the vaccine's packaging box.

On Friday, Orban flagged a possible tightening of lockdown curbs as the daily tally of new infections jumped to its highest this year with the country's hospitals expected to face a heavy strain in the next two weeks.

Hundreds of people took to a square in the capital Budapest on Sunday to protest against the lockdown measures.

The Russian and Chinese shots are being administered along with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and shots developed by U.S. company Moderna and Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, all of which have the EU green light.

Orban has said all the 2.5 million to 2.6 million Hungarians who have registered for COVID-19 vaccinations so far would receive at least one dose by Easter, in early April. (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by David Clarke)