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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Cut in Pfizer vaccines a ‘potential catastrophe’: advisor to Polish PM

19.01.2021 14:06
A decision by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer to reduce the supply of its COVID-19 shots is a “potential catastrophe," the Polish prime minister's chief advisor on the coronavirus epidemic has said.
Prof. Andrzej Horban.
Prof. Andrzej Horban. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Prof. Andrzej Horban told reporters: "This is, in short, a catastrophe, a potential catastrophe."

He added: "The problem is vaccinating people… in time, before the third wave, which is likely to come. If there is no vaccine, there will be nothing to vaccinate with."

The prime minister's top aide has said that the reduced supply of Pfizer shots forced Poland to change its vaccination plans.

Michał Dworczyk, who is spearheading the government’s inoculation drive, said that 176,000 Pfizer vaccines were delivered to Poland on Monday, instead of the 360,000 originally expected.

Pfizer said on Friday it would temporarily reduce its vaccine deliveries to Europe while it upgrades its production capacity.

Reduced shipments of Pfizer vaccines were initially expected to last three weeks. But the manufacturers have now said the period will last nine days, and from January 25 shots will be delivered according to the original schedule, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

Poland on Tuesday reported 4,835 new coronavirus infections and 291 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 1,443,804 and fatalities to 33,698.

Healthcare workers are the top priority group in Poland for inoculation, followed by nursing home residents, people over 70, police, soldiers and teachers.

Citizens over 80 have been able to sign up for COVID-19 shots since Friday. On January 22, registration will open to those in the 70+ age group

(pk)

Source: PAP/IAR