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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish PM, AstraZeneca execs discuss COVID-19 vaccine

16.11.2020 07:30
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has talked with executives from global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca amid efforts to secure a COVID-19 vaccine for Poles as soon as possible, state news agency PAP has reported.
Photo:
Photo:PAP/EPA/DAN HIMBRECHTS

AstraZeneca said in a statement that the talks at the end of last week focused on collaboration in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland, including joint efforts to ensure access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

The company said on its website that it was pursuing research and development work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in conjunction with the University of Oxford.

“Data from phases 1 and 2 of clinical trials are promising, and we are now entering advanced phases of research in many countries,” AstraZeneca’s Chairman Leif Johansson was quoted, in Polish, as saying.

“Our priority is to deliver an effective and safe vaccine, and to work with governments and international organizations to ensure widespread and equitable access to vaccination for patients around the world.”

The Polish prime minister was cited as saying that his government “will continue to work with AstraZeneca and other entities working on a COVID-19 vaccine to provide Polish patients with a safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible.”

“During the meeting, we reaffirmed our cooperation in the fastest possible distribution of a potential vaccine once it is registered and brought to market,” Morawiecki said, as quoted on the astrazeneca.pl website.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki holds a remote meeting with executives from UK-based based drug company AstraZeneca on Friday, November 2020. Photo: Krystian Maj/KPRM Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki holds a remote meeting with executives from UK-based based drug company AstraZeneca on Friday, November 2020. Photo: Krystian Maj/KPRM

Another topic of Friday’s videoconference, which was also attended by Poland’s Health Minister Adam Niedzielski, was AstraZeneca's investment in the country, according to the company’s website.

The UK-based drug maker in January announced plans to invest PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 350 million, USD 390 million) in Poland over the next five years.

That announcement followed a meeting between Morawiecki and Johansson at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Polish prime minister said on Friday his government has set up a working group with experts from US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer amid efforts to make a coronavirus vaccine available to Poles as quickly as possible.

Morawiecki on Friday held talks with Pfizer executives after the European Union earlier last week struck a deal to buy up to 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from the American pharmaceutical giant.

Morawiecki said last Monday that millions of vaccines against the coronavirus were likely to reach his country next spring.

He added that the vaccines would be made available to citizens on an optional basis and be first administered to senior citizens, healthcare professionals and law enforcement personnel.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, astrazeneca.plpremier.gov.pl