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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland to make COVID-19 booster shots available to all adults: PM

21.10.2021 08:00
Poland plans to make third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced.
Polands Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

"Those over 18 who had their last dose at least six months ago will be able to get another dose," he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. 

He wrote that booster shots would be made available "over the next few weeks."

Poland's government last month recommended a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers and people over 50.

Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska told reporters at the time that the booster shot would be administered at least six months after the second shot.

Officials have previously recommended a third dose for people with compromised immune systems.

By Wednesday, a total of 504,949 booster shots had been administered, while 166,972 people with immunity problems had received a third vaccine dose, government data showed.

Poland has so far administered over 20 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while more than 19.75 million people have been fully inoculated, health ministry data showed on Wednesday.

The tally includes two-dose vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine.

About 61 percent of adult Poles are fully vaccinated, below an EU average of just over 74 percent, the Reuters news agency reported.

Poland on Wednesday reported 5,559 new coronavirus infections and 75 more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the country's total number of cases during the pandemic to 2,950,616 and fatalities to 76,254.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski warned on Wednesday that the number of daily COVID-19 infections had doubled in the country over the past week and “drastic steps” could be necessary to counteract what he called an “explosion of the pandemic.”

Officials have previously warned that the number of COVID-19 infections in the country could rise in the weeks ahead as the Delta variant of the coronavirus begins to spread more quickly.

Niedzielski said at the end of last month that the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to reach its height in Poland in November or December, with up to 40,000 daily cases.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters