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English Section

Polish under-18s get green light to sign up for COVID shots

17.05.2021 07:41
Teens under 18 have been given the green light to sign up for COVID-19 shots in Poland as the country ramps up its inoculation campaign.
Photo:PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Registration for those aged 16 and 17 opened at the stroke of midnight on Monday.

For now, only Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine has been cleared for use in those aged 16 and older by the European Medicines Agency.

The other three coronavirus vaccines used in Poland, from Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Moderna, are only authorized for adults aged 18 and over.

The EU drug regulator announced this month it had begun evaluating a request from US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany's BioNtech to extend approval of their coronavirus vaccine to include children aged 12 to 15.

Vaccination of minors requires parental consent in Poland.

People can send a text message to sign up for a shot. They can also go online to register or call a 989 vaccination hotline to schedule an appointment.

Direct reservations at vaccination sites are possible, but officials have advised people against visiting in person to limit the risk of exposure.

On Monday, a fresh supply of around 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was scheduled to arrive in Poland, according to Michał Kuczmierowski, head of the Government Strategic Reserves Agency.

Later this week, Poland expects to receive around 136,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot Janssen vaccine, 165,000 doses of AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria jab, and about 250,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by US drug maker Moderna, Kuczmierowski told reporters.

In all, more than 1.7 million doses of various coronavirus vaccines are expected to reach the country this week, according to officials.

By Sunday, Poland had injected almost 11.5 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while more than 4.5 million people had been fully inoculated, health ministry data showed.

More than 7,000 vaccination sites are available to citizens as the country rolls out its COVID-19 inoculation programme, according to the prime minister's top aide, Michał Dworczyk, who is spearheading the drive.

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/Aleksander Koźmiński


Source: IAR, PAP