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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland could start free, voluntary COVID-19 vaccinations in February: PM

02.12.2020 15:28
Poland’s prime minister said on Wednesday his country could start free, voluntary, two-stage vaccinations against the coronavirus in February.
Audio
PM Mateusz Morawiecki seen during a televised press conference on Wednesday.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki seen during a televised press conference on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters Poland was waiting for a final decision by a European regulator.

He said: "We have already placed orders for 45 million doses with companies such as Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson."

He added: “From February, let's say, there are prospects [for vaccinations], but we are waiting for the final decisions from the European Medicines Agency … We will definitely be ready.”

Poland on Wednesday became the fifth country in the European Union, after France, Spain, Italy and Germany, to record more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 infections as it struggles to contain a second wave of the coronavirus.

A total of 1,013,747 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the pandemic began, and 18,208 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials announced on Wednesday.

Morawiecki said on November 13 that his government has set up a working group with experts from US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer amid efforts to make a COVID-19 vaccine available to Poles as quickly as possible.

In mid-November, Morawiecki also talked with executives from global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, state news agency PAP reported.

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has already struck deals to secure vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTechAstraZenecaModernaCureVacSanofi-GSK, and Johnson & Johnson, taking its potential stock of COVID-19 shots to nearly 2 billion, news agencies have reported.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) could produce a scientific opinion on COVID-19 vaccines seeking regulatory approval by the end of the year in a best case scenario, the regulator's new chief was quoted as saying last week.

Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for general use, with plans to roll it out from early next week.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP

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