Poland expects first batch of Moderna vaccines next week - agency head

2021-01-06 20:14 update: 2021-01-07, 12:26
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Fot. PAP/ EPA/PAUL SANCYA / POOL Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Fot. PAP/ EPA/PAUL SANCYA / POOL Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
Poland expects to receive 29,000 coronavirus vaccines produced by US biotech company Moderna next week, the head of the Material Reserves Agency said on Wednesday, after the EU's medicines agency approved the vaccine.

"Next week, we expect the first delivery of about 29,000 doses," Michal Kuczmierowski, head of the Material Reserves Agency (ARM), told PAP on Wednesday.

"It is a new vaccine and we should receive about 800,000 doses during the first quarter," Kuczmierowski added.

"This vaccine has a little more moderate storage conditions as it can be kept in temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees (Celsius) for up to 30 days, so it is very convenient for us," he also said.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that Poland has already received must be kept in temperatures below 70 degrees centigrade.

The government vaccination commissioner, Michal Dworczyk, told PAP that Poland should receive some 840,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of March, adding that close to 70,000 doses should reach the country in January.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday gave the green light for the new vaccine, produced by US biotechnology company Moderna. The EMA's opinion was later in the day endorsed by the European Commission (EC), the EU's executive arm.

The EC president, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that "we have authorised the @moderna_tx vaccine, the 2nd vaccine approved in the EU."

Poland received the first COVID-19 vaccines, made by Moderna's competitor Pfizer in collaboration with German firm BioNTech, on December 25. By Wednesday morning, over 140,000 Poles had received the first of the required two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. (PAP)