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English Section

Nearly 4.9 million COVID-19 shots administered in Poland: gov't data

19.03.2021 10:50
A total of 4,893,320 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in Poland so far, including 149,828 over the last 24 hours, officials announced on Friday.

Public health authorities said that 5,034 adverse reactions had been reported among those who received the vaccines by Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,879 doses have been wasted in the rollout, according to the Polish health ministry.

As of Friday, Poland had injected more than 3.1 million first doses, while over 1.7 million people have received a second shot, health ministry data showed.

Poland on Friday reported 25,998 new coronavirus infections and 419 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 2,010,244 and fatalities to 48,807.

Poland this week began administering COVID-19 vaccines to cancer patients and people suffering from various chronic health conditions.

Meanwhile, citizens who are 67 to 69 years old are now able to sign up to receive a vaccine as the country steps up its inoculation campaign.

Frontline healthcare workers were first in line to be inoculated in Poland, followed by nursing home residents.

Other priority groups for vaccination include the elderly, teachers, police, and soldiers.

Race to vaccinate

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski has said that the country hopes to vaccinate 60 to 70 percent of its population against the coronavirus by the autumn.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced in December that his government had secured vaccines for the Polish population from six leading international drug makers.

Michał Dworczyk, the official spearheading Poland’s inoculation drive, said last month that his country had ordered almost 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in total, enough to inoculate 58 million people, more than its population of around 38 million.

Dworczyk, who is the Polish prime minister’s chief of staff, said last Wednesday that the government had secured assurances from vaccine manufacturers that around 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be delivered to the country in the second quarter of this year.

This will include 2.5 million single-dose Johnson & Johnson shots, he told a news conference.

Michał Dworczyk, the man in charge of Poland's COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Michał Dworczyk, the man in charge of Poland's COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has struck deals to secure vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZenecaModernaCureVacSanofi-GSK, and Johnson & Johnson.

Niedzielski said last month that around 6.7 million coronavirus vaccine doses were expected to reach Poland by the end of March, including 4.8 million from Pfizer-BioNTech, 1.15 million from AstraZeneca, and 744,000 from Moderna.

He told a news conference earlier this month that Poland had ordered 16 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by US drug maker Johnson & Johnson and that the first shipments were expected to arrive in April.

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Photo: PAP/Marcin Gadomski

On Friday, a fresh supply of around 65,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine arrived in Poland, Michał Kuczmierowski, head of the Government Strategic Reserves Agency, told reporters.

Michał Kuczmierowski Michał Kuczmierowski, head of Poland's Government Strategic Reserves Agency. Photo: PAP/Grzegorz Michałowski

Earlier this week, Poland received about 380,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, according to Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.

Waldemar Kraska Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska. Photo: PAP/Przemysław Piątkowski

In the next few days, Poland expects to receive about 210,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by US drug maker Moderna, officials announced.

Earlier this month, a shipment of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine had been expected but failed to reach the country, officials said, amid delays in deliveries from producers.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday encouraged Poles to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19 using the AstraZeneca shot.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki seen on a screen during a virtual media briefing on Thursday. Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki seen on a screen during a virtual media briefing on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

He was speaking after the European Medicines Agency said that the vaccine was “safe and effective.”

The EU's drug watchdog told an online news conference it was convinced the benefits of AstraZeneca's vaccine outweighed the risks following an investigation into reports of blood disorders that prompted more than a dozen nations to suspend its use.

The prime ministers of Poland, Spain, Denmark and Belgium and the president of Lithuania last month called for stepped-up deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines in the EU.

Poland's Morawiecki earlier called on the EU's executive to use its sway to ensure the timely delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

"Europe is a powerful market that has been hard hit by COVID-19," Morawiecki said. "Every day we are all paying a huge price for displaying a weakness toward drug makers. We can't stand aside and watch the next waves of infections engulf us."

The Polish health minister told reporters this month that the EU's drug regulator had opened a fast-track “rolling review” procedure for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by American producer Novavax.

Officials in Warsaw announced on March 3 that domestic biotechnology firm Mabion had struck a deal with the US manufacturer to produce the Novavax vaccine in Poland.

The European Union on March 11 approved Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine after a speedy review, raising hopes for stepped-up inoculation across the bloc.


Source: IAR, gov.pl