The country's health minister made the announcement on Wednesday, stressing that doctors will most certainly be among the first to receive the vaccine. Speaking about the procurement process, the prime minister underlined that the country has ordered 45 million doses.
"I think the first shipments of the vaccine may arrive in late January, or early February," Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Wednesday, when quizzed about the realistic delivery date of the Covid-19 vaccines.
As regards the vaccination strategy, Niedzielski said that the first group to be vaccinated will be that of doctors, as they are in direct contact with the patients. There are some 500 thousand medical practitioners in the country. In the second round, the vaccine will be administered to the elderly, because mortality rates are the worst among people aged over 75, and there are some 2 to 3 million people who are older. Niedzilski said getting the vaccine to so many is a huge logistical undertaking which will require one or two months after the arrival of the first doses."
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also made an announcement on Wednesday, stressing that the Polish government ordered 45 million doses under the European Union's programme and is ready to sign further contracts. The administration of the vaccines may start after its approval by the European Medicines Agency. Morawiecki added that the vaccination will be voluntary and free.
Poland registered 13 855 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people infected with the novel coronavirus to more than 1 million (1,013,747) in the V4 country. In recent days, the increase in the daily number of new infections ranged between 6 to 15 thousand. This figure was over 20 thousand in mid-November, implying that the epidemic situation in the Central European country is improving. The number of active infections (372,559) has also been decreasing in recent days, with 20,855 patients in need of hospital treatment and 2,023 ventilated patients. Data released on Wednesday shows that the 89 deaths were directly linked to the coronavirus disease, while 520 people lost their lives in a combination of the virus and some other underlying illness.