English Section

300,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Poland: PM

28.12.2020 10:50
A new shipment of 300,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Monday, a day after the country kicked off a national inoculation campaign.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is seen on a television screen as he holds a news conference at Warsaws Okęcie Airport on Monday
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is seen on a television screen as he holds a news conference at Warsaw's Okęcie Airport on MondayPhoto: PAP/Mateusz Marek

"Today, 300,000 more doses have arrived in Poland, and we are starting to distribute them," Morawiecki told reporters at Warsaw’s Okęcie Airport.

He added that the delivery was destined for "a further 250-plus hospitals across the country.”

Morawiecki also said the new vaccine was “a dose of hope” as the nation prepares to fend off a possible third wave of the epidemic.

"The third wave of the virus may be more dangerous than the first two waves so this dose of the vaccine can also be a dose of hope,” he said.

A 52-year-old Warsaw hospital nurse on Sunday 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.

The government has 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) last Monday 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.

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

He announced earlier this 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 January 6.

Poland on Monday reported 3,211 new coronavirus infections and 29 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 1,261,010 and fatalities to 27,147.


Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info

Click on the "Play" button above to listen to an audio report