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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Night darkest before dawn, says PM as Poland adopts vaccination plan

15.12.2020 14:14
Poland plans to spend PLN 3 billion (EUR 675m, USD 820m) on over 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccines under a national inoculation programme adopted by the government on Tuesday.
Audio
PM Mateusz Morawiecki seen on screen during a press conference on Tuesday.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki seen on screen during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the vaccines would be free and voluntary adding: "It must certainly be our national goal to vaccinate as many people as possible."

Morawiecki told reporters that Poland would start administering shots in January.

But he warned that the threat posed by the coronavirus, which has killed over 23,000 people in his country, was not over, even though new deaths and infections have dropped from a peak in November.

'The virus is attacking'

"They say that the night is darkest before dawn, and indeed today, knowing that the vaccine is within reach, we must bear in mind that the virus is attacking, it is very dangerous," he added.

On the government’s spending plans, Morawiecki told a news conference: "We will not spare funds for the vaccination process. We already have about PLN 3 billion budgeted, but also funds for all medical facilities that will administer vaccinations, which will almost double this number."

First vaccines to arrive this month?

Meanwhile, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said there was a chance that the first vaccines would arrive in Poland this year.

First in line to be inoculated will be health care staff, followed by pensioners in care homes, people over 60 (with the oldest given priority), police, soldiers and teachers.

Poland on Tuesday reported 6,907 new coronavirus infections and 349 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 1,147,446 and fatalities to 23,309.

On November 25, the country reported a record 674 new deaths linked to the coronavirus.

On November 7, the Polish health ministry confirmed 27,875 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.

Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska warned on Monday that Poles would have to wear face masks until the summer.

(pk)

Source: Polish Radio/PAP

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