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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

360,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Poland: official

04.01.2021 09:30
A new shipment of 360,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Poland, an official announced on Monday, eight days after the country kicked off a national inoculation campaign.
Michał Dworczyk, chief of staff to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Michał Dworczyk, chief of staff to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Photo: Rafał Guz/PAP

"A plane carrying 360,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine landed in Warsaw on Monday morning," Michał Dworczyk, chief of staff to the Polish prime minister, told the media.

He added that more than 50,000 people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Poland so far.

Michał Kuczmierowski, head of the country's Material Reserves Agency (ARM), told reporters at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport that "the vaccines arrived in Poland at 6:40 a.m."

Michał Kuczmierowski, head of Poland's Material Reserves Agency (ARM). Michał Kuczmierowski, head of Poland's Material Reserves Agency (ARM). Photo: PAP/Grzegorz Michałowski

Kuczmierowski added that the shipment would be taken to the agency's warehouse near the central town of Tomaszów Mazowiecki.

"There the vaccines will be sitting in storage waiting to be delivered to pharmaceutical wholesalers and then to hospitals," he said.

A 52-year-old Warsaw hospital nurse on December 27 became the first Pole to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The first batch of 10,000 vaccine doses arrived in the country a day earlier.

On Monday, December 28, a new shipment of 300,000 doses reached Poland by air.

The government last month launched a media campaign called Szczepimy Się (Let's Get Vaccinated) to encourage Poles to get COVID-19 shots.

The immunization effort began after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on December 21 recommended conditional approval for a coronavirus vaccine produced by US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for use across the European Union.

The decision by the EU regulator was subsequently greenlighted by the bloc’s executive, the European Commission.

Polish officials have said they expect 1.5 million coronavirus vaccine doses to reach their country by the end of January.

Frontline healthcare workers are first in line to be vaccinated, followed by pensioners in nursing homes, people over 60, police, soldiers and teachers.

Poles who are not in priority groups will be able to sign up for COVID-19 shots from January 15.

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.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has described the initiative as the largest logistics operation in Poland in decades.

He said last month that his government had secured vaccines for the Polish population from six leading international drug makers.

Around 8,000 vaccination sites are expected to be available nationwide as the country rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has 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 is expected to produce a scientific opinion on Moderna's vaccine seeking regulatory approval on Wednesday.

Poland by Monday had reported a total of 1,318,562 infections since the start of the pandemic and 29,119 deaths linked to the coronavirus.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info