Some 338,000 Poles vaccinated so far

2021-01-13 18:44 update: 2021-01-14, 13:34
Phot. PAP/Andrzej Lange
Phot. PAP/Andrzej Lange
Almost 338,000 people had been vaccinated by Wednesday afternoon, the head of the PM's Office has announced.

"Compared to Europe, it looks like Poland is the fourth country in terms of the number of vaccinations," Michal Dworczyk said.

The minister told a Wednesday press conference that this week Poland will enter a key stage of the vaccination campaign as starting on January 15 people above 80 years of age will be able to register to receive a jab while 70+ seniors will be able to register as of January 22.

Dworczyk said that the different registration dates for seniors have been recommended by experts. "Professors pointed out that the greatest risk for severe illness from Covid-19 is among those aged over 80." That is why it has been decided to give this group of people an extra week so that they could register for the earliest possible dates and choose a convenient vaccination site, Dworczyk explained.

The minister said that vaccination of people over 70 will start on January 25 at 5,994 vaccination points. He said that this group counts some 4.6 million people, including 1.75 million aged 80+ and 2.8 million seniors aged 70-79.

However, Dworczyk noted that not all seniors will be able to get vaccinated right away. "From the group of over 4.5 million people, we will have vaccines for 2.3 million by the end of March," he said.

Dworczyk said that Poland is able to vaccinate some 3.7 million people per month. Poland's population counts just over 38 million.

However, the minister added that the limited supply of vaccines meant that these capabilities have not been fully exploited so far. 

"We believe, however, that the number of vaccines reaching Poland and other EU countries will continue to grow and this will allow us to accelerate vaccination," said Dworczyk adding that bigger deliveries are expected at the beginning of the second quarter of the year.

During the first quarter, Poland expects to receive over 6 million doses of the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Registration to get a jab will be possible through three channels: helpline 989, internet and at the vaccination points. Patients will be able to register for a specific vaccination date at a specific point.

A day before the scheduled date of vaccination, the registered person will receive an SMS (a text message) confirming the appointment. Such a reminder SMS will also come before the second vaccination date. (PAP)