Nearly 3.8 million COVID-19 shots administered in Poland: gov’t data

A total of 3,791,577 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in Poland so far, including 168,158 over the last 24 hours, officials announced on Friday.

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Photo:EPA/CESARE ABBATE

Public health authorities said that 4,038 adverse reactions had been reported among those who received the vaccines by Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,135 doses have been wasted in the rollout, according to the Polish health ministry.

As of Friday, Poland had injected more than 2.4 million first doses, while over 1.3 million people have received a second shot, health ministry data showed.

Poland on Friday reported 15,829 new coronavirus infections and 263 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 1,766,490 and fatalities to 44,912.

New vaccination tactics

On Thursday, the official in charge of the national immunization campaign, Michał Dworczyk, told reporters that the interval between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered to patients would be extended in a new tactic to speed up inoculations amid an accelerating epidemic.

In another measure as Poland races to contain the virus, people who have been infected will receive a single shot six months after they tested positive, according to Dworczyk, who is the Polish prime minister’s chief of staff.

From next week, the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccines will be administered 12 weeks after the first injection, while Pfizer vaccines will be administered in two doses 42 days apart, Dworczyk announced.

Dworczyk has previously said that the top priority is to vaccinate as many Poles as possible within the shortest possible time.

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.

Dworczyk said last month that the 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.Michał Dworczyk, the official in charge of Poland's COVID-19 vaccination campaign.Michał Dworczyk, the man in charge of Poland’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has struck deals to secure vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTechAstraZenecaModernaCureVacSanofi-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 on Wednesday 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 Thursday, a fresh supply of some 62,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine was expected but failed to arrive in Poland, officials said, amid delays in deliveries from producers.

Earlier this week, a shipment of around 380,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 230,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot reached the country, Michał Kuczmierowski, head of the Government Strategic Reserves Agency, told the media.Michał Kuczmierowski, head of Poland's Material Reserves Agency (ARM).Michał Kuczmierowski, head of Poland’s Government Strategic Reserves Agency. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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 amid delays in supplies from drug producers.

„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 on Wednesday 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.

Earlier that day officials in Warsaw announced that domestic biotechnology firm Mabion had struck a deal with the US manufacturer to produce the vaccine in Poland.

Meanwhile, Polish President Andrzej Duda has talked to China’s leader Xi Jinping about a possible purchase of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, a top aide said on Monday.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, gov.pl

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