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First batch of COVID-19 vaccines may arrive in Poland next month: deputy health minister

20.11.2020 07:00
A first batch of newly developed COVID-19 vaccines may arrive in Poland as early as next month, a deputy health minister has said, amid optimistic progress reports from several international drug makers.
Polish Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.
Polish Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.PR24/AK

Waldemar Kraska told public broadcaster Polish Radio that several new vaccines were expected to hit the Polish market in the first quarter of 2021, with the first supplies likely to reach the country in December.

He noted that a number of international pharmaceutical companies were finishing work on their own vaccines against COVID-19.

In the near future, these new vaccines are expected to be cleared for general use by global and European drug regulators, Kraska said.

After making sure these products are safe, the government will try to persuade as many Poles as possible to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19, he added.

Kraska also told Polish Radio that a special team was at work at his ministry to map out the logistics of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

A vaccination plan is due to be ready by mid-December, he said this week.

Poland’s prime minister said last week that millions of vaccines against the coronavirus were likely to reach his country next spring as part of a European deal with drug makers.

The European Union in the middle of last week struck a deal to buy up to 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last Friday that his government has set up a working group with experts from Pfizer amid efforts to make a COVID-19 vaccine available to Poles as quickly as possible.

At the end of last week, Morawiecki also talked with executives from global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca as part of efforts to secure a COVID-19 vaccine for Poland, state news agency PAP has reported.

Meanwhile, US drug maker Moderna announced on Monday that its experimental vaccine was 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.

The European Commission on Tuesday authorized a deal with German biotech firm CureVac to secure up to 405 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine for European citizens.

EU officials have voiced hope for a deal with Moderna soon.

Data published on Thursday showed that AstraZeneca and Oxford University's potential COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults, with researchers expecting to release late-stage trial results by Christmas, the Reuters news agency reported.


Source: IAR, Reuters