EMA approves Pfizer vaccine, first doses to reach Poland on Dec 26

Dworczyk said the vaccine would first be given to medical personnel, the so-called “zero group”. Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

The first 10,000 doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine should arrive in Poland on December 26, and the first 10,000 people should be vaccinated a day later, the head of the Prime Minister's Office has said.

"Everything indicates that the first 10,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in Poland on the evening of December 26, and on December 27, the first 10,000 people will be vaccinated," Michał Dworczyk told a private radio station.

The vaccine will be deployed to dozens of facilities across the country, he also said.

The European Medicines Agency approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

The European Commission, which has the final say on approving medical substances in Europe, gave the green light to the vaccine later in the day.

The Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, said last week that vaccinations would start across Europe on December 27-29.

In Poland, the vaccine will first be given to medical personnel, the so-called "zero group," according to Dworczyk.

The prime minister's aide added that dozens of vaccination points were currently being chosen. "Those will be ‘nodal hospitals’, or hospitals that have been selected by the Ministry of Health and the National Health Fund to conduct vaccinations of the zero group," he said.

He added that the number of vaccination points would increase. "At the moment, we have points that can serve over 93 percent of the population, in over 80 percent of districts. The selection of points is continuing. We will have the list completed before Christmas."

He said that the government wanted a capacity for 3.5 million vaccinations a month.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday afternoon that Poland was ready to distribute the vaccine and carry out vaccinations.

"The European Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (...) Poland is ready for distribution and carrying out the vaccination process, Morawiecki wrote on Facebook.

Last Tuesday, the government adopted the National Vaccination Programme, with the aim of achieving population immunity in 2021. The Covid-19 vaccine is to be free, voluntary and to be administered in two doses.