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Young Poles urged to sign up for COVID-19 shots

20.05.2021 08:00
A Polish deputy health minister has appealed to people under 18 to sign up for COVID-19 shots to avoid a new wave of infections in the fall.
Photo:PAP/Leszek Szymański

"We call on young people under the age of 18 to come forward for vaccination," Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska said on Wednesday.

He warned that new variants of the coronavirus could pose a serious risk to patients—“as evidenced by what is happening in the hospitals, where young people are severely suffering."

"The rule is simple: if people don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of whether they are young or senior citizens, they can become infected and the course of the disease is sometimes difficult," Kraska told broadcaster Telewizja Republika.

Those aged 16 and 17 were at the start of this week given the green light to sign up for coronavirus vaccines in Poland as the country ramped up its inoculation campaign.

As of Wednesday, Poland had injected around 11.87 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while almost 4.8 million people had been fully inoculated, health ministry data showed.

About 90,000 patients under 18 have come forward to be vaccinated since registration opened for them on Monday, state news agency PAP reported.

For now, only Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine has been cleared for use in people 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.


Source: IAR, PAP